Marijuana’s popularity has grown exponentially such that it is now as common as some staple foods. This is in part thanks to the states who have taken legalization seriously and positioned marijuana as one of the most sought-after substances in America.
People now take marijuana and indulge in it just like we enjoy baseball and reality TV on a fantastic evening. According to research, around 90% of America’s population asserts that weed should be legalized for adults 21 years and above.
The same assertion is given to alcohol and ad tobacco as Americans are fie with the government seeking ways to capitalize on the revenues from these substances. They also want the police force to focus on actual crime and take their eyes off marijuana “Offenders.”
These agitations by Americans have encouraged the legalization of marijuana in many states, and it is expected that more states will take legalization seriously. The goal is to have all states with cannabis legalization laws and then use that to leverage the federal government to do the same.
Sounds like a good plan, right? Yeah, but it is not going as planned because politicians from legal marijuana states are refusing to vote to legalize then substance federally.
The American Congress is still highly divided for nationwide marijuana legalization, and it is worrisome. Why are politicians at the federal level not supporting the agitation for legalization at the Federal level? Let’s find answers!
The Great marijuana debate: a divide preventing nationwide legalization
In all fairness to the American society, there is some progress with bipartisan support for cannabis reform at Capitol Hill. The general public receives weekly pro-weed news, implying that Republicans and Democrats are working together and on the same page regarding legalizing marijuana.
It is believed that both sides of the aisle want to put an end to marijuana prohibition across the United States for good. There is some truth to the idea as, on the surface, there is some work done on legalizing marijuana.
However, beneath the surface, only a handful of members of Congress are serious about changing the federal marijuana status. Even those who ‘Seem’ to be on the progressive side of federal legalization don’t support it all the way, and cannabis enthusiasts have been ringing this alarm for a long time.
Cannabis experts are also insisting that even as more states legalize marijuana, Republicans should take it seriously and do something about its Federal status.
Republican Congressmen holding back
Members of Congress are supposed to be concerned with how voters view them, hence why smart politicians tailor their manifestoes to suit voters’ preferences. So if up to 90% of Americans believe that cannabis should be legalized, why aren’t Congressmen taking this seriously?
Well, most of them don’t care about voter’s ideas on drug reforms. Some Republicans care about marijuana enough to suggest partial legalization, but a more significant majority will not vote to legalize marijuana federally completely.
Senator Steve Daines from Montana admits to opposing the legalization of cannabis at the Federal level. He also maintains that he supports SAFE Banking Act which is a law that allows cannabis operators to transact with banking institutions.
But he refuses to contribute to the legalization of marijuana at the federal level despite the people of Montana insisting that marijuana should be legalized in the state. He believes that his decision to support the SAFE Banking Act is the “Right” thing to do ad he wouldn’t take it further with federal legalization.
Up to a dozen senators from states where medical and recreational marijuana are legal to say they wouldn’t vote in favor of nationwide legalization. Although a few of them say, they will consider decriminalizing marijuana but not willing to have it as a taxed ad regulated market.
Continuous oppositions from both Republicans and Democrats
Although Republicans have openly shown their reluctance to endorse cannabis at the federal level, they are not the only ones in opposition. There are still many more Democrats who oppose cannabis as well. Some good examples include Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Jon Tester, Sherrod Brown, and Joe Manchin.
Many others may start criticizing the federal marijuana legalization agenda if Senator Chuck Schumer introduces the comprehensive cannabis reform bill. Senator Schumer has been talking about this bill for the last five months, and as the Senate Majority Leader, he started out saying marijuana reform was his priority.
Sadly, he hasn’t made any significant progress thus far. Senate Republicans are still not giving in and preventing all pro-marijuana bills from getting passed into law. Senator Schumer cannot get his political party to support the eradication of the senate rule against marijuana.
Now Senator Schumer needs all Democratic Members to vote in favor of ending the senate rule against marijuana. He needs their support to legalize weed, and since the marijuana bill will require Republican approval, he will need at least ten votes.
Both political sides are unable to cooperate on this process which means once again, politicians are taking the marijuana industry backward. Ironically, these same politicians are from states that have legalized cannabis. They have accepted that their states are moving into the future where marijuana will matter more and are left behind.
Although America has made progress within states with the legalization of marijuana, it is still a struggle at the Federal level. One would think that the progress made by states will urge the Federal government to take action, but politicians are making it complicated.
Decriminalization is fine, the SAFE Banking Act is tremendous, and states allowing marijuana dispensaries to thrive is all good. But the real victory for cannabis enthusiasts and experts is Federal legalization, which seems like a goal that will take years to attain.
So what can cannabis advocates do? Well, they can continue to mount pressure on their representatives and politicians from their districts to do the right thing. It took a while for states to legalize, and if we apply the right amount of pressure, the Federal government will do the same.