Expect a New Push to Legalize Weed on the Federal Level in 2021
Once again the push to legalize weed on the federal level is on the "to do" list in 2021.
Now that the Democrats have control of both the House and Senate, the push to legalize marijuana on the federal level is once again a topic of interest. Remember, back in December the House of Representatives voted to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. No such luck in a Republican led Senate, though. That could change now that the Democrats have the majority.
An article posted at KCEN reports that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with Senators Cory Booker Ron Wyden, plan to discuss the issue in the early part of this year and make legalization reform a priority in the Senate.
In a joint statement, the senators wrote:
"The War on Drugs has been a war on people - particularly people of color. Ending the federal marijuana prohibition is necessary to right the wrongs of this failed war and end decades of harm inflicted on communities of color across the country. But that alone is not enough. As states continue to legalize marijuana, we must also enact measures that will lift up people who were unfairly targeted in the War on Drugs."
Co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Rep. Earl Blumenauer issued a statement this week as well, writing:
"Last year, we moved heaven and earth to get a bill passed through the House with key criminal justice and restorative justice provisions, but Mitch McConnell blocked consideration. Now, new Senate leadership is prepared to pick up the mantle."
Blumenauer wrote that the missing ingredient of cannabis reform has been Senate action, and said he was happy to see legalization legislation no longer "stuck in McConnell’s legislative graveyard."
By the way, you've probably seen the term "restorative justice" before. In simple terms, it's the idea of not only legalizing marijuana, but clearing the records of and even freeing people who've been convicted of non-violent crimes involving marijuana, such as simply being in possession of it.
Several states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana on their own, but it's past time to do the same on the federal level. Now that Democrats control congress, maybe we'll actually get it done.