The House of Representatives is expected to pass a cannabis legalization bill soon. The bill is supported by nearly all Democrats and also has some Republican supporters. If it passes in the House, the bill will then need to pass in the Senate to become law.
“This Congress represents a sea change,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) told The Hill.“What we have seen is that the majority of people now realize that the war on drugs failed…Drugs are more accessible and cheaper and more potent and dangerous. Nobody won this war, except people who were involved with the drug dealers themselves.”
In order to get through the Senate, the bill will need all Democrats and 10 Republicans to vote in favor due to the existence of the legislative filibuster. It’s not currently clear if it can garner that many votes. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is trying to get a cannabis legalization bill passed before the midterms, but there have been many other priorities the Senate has had to focus on.
Toi Hutchinson, president and CEO of the Marijuana Policy Project, told Cannabis News Box that they’re very supportive of this bill.
“We applaud the MORE Act’s approach to legalization that promises to address many of the harms caused by prohibition through an equity- and justice-centered framework. Americans have made their support for cannabis legalization abundantly clear, and states across the country have taken the lead on cannabis legalization,” Hutchinson said. “Now it is time for Congress to take action and finally put an end to the failed policy of prohibition. We urge members of Congress to once again pass this historic piece of legislation.”
Though legalization is mostly supported by Democrats, support for legalization is growing among Republicans. Conservative states where legalization advocates didn’t expect legalization to be likely to happen are starting to move toward legalizing. This may mean that Republicans in the Senate will start warming up to the idea of getting behind a legalization bill.
Though some Republicans are moving toward getting behind legalizing cannabis, the leadership of the Republican Party remains opposed to legalization. It may be a while before they change that position, and if they do, then legalization will be all but sure to happen. If legalization doesn’t happen this year, then it could happen next year or the year after that, but it’s clear it’s going to happen eventually.