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Will Trump legalize cannabis next year?


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Thor Benson / Cannabis News Box Contributor

A lot of people have been speculating whether President Trump will approve cannabis legalization if a bill makes it through Congress.

Many believe he would be accepting of the STATES Act, which would allow states to legalize cannabis without federal interference but would not legalize cannabis for the whole country. This may be even more promising, as Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions – a staunch cannabis opponent – to resign yesterday. One person who thinks Trump will legalize cannabis next year is his former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.

“I do. I think he’s going to legalize marijuana,” Scaramucci told Succeed.com recently. “I think he’s waiting for after the midterms. I think he’s on the side of legalization.” Now that the midterms are over, we may soon see if this is the case.

Now that Democrats have won back the House, it seems likely they’ll vote to legalize cannabis next year in some way, so Trump being willing to sign such a bill would be a big deal. However, there’s little evidence Scaramucci actually has the intel he seems to be implying he has. He often just says what he thinks Trump might be thinking.

“Anthony Scaramucci has no credibility and nothing he says should be taken seriously,” Justin Strekal, the political director at NORML, told Cannabis News Box. He said the makeup of Congress changing will definitely impact how this issue plays out, though. That includes the fact that Republicans kept the Senate. Although some Republicans have warmed up to the idea of legalizing cannabis, many Republicans leaders are still anti-legalization.

“Chuck Grassley, should he remain Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is likely to block any and all legalizations bills, even ones that would explicitly respect states rights a clean deschedule bill would,” Strekal said. That means even if Democrats pass a legalization bill in the House and many Republican senators get behind legalization, the bill might not have a chance of passing.

Until another election happens and Congress changes again, it seems the only chance legalization has in the federal government would come from the leadership of the Republican Party in the Senate changing. If a Republican who is accepting of legalization takes over, then there’s a pretty good chance legalization would make it through Congress. It’s unclear if Trump would sign the bill, but that’s the only way we’d be able to find out.

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