As recent as the past couple of months, four states legalized adult-use cannabis. That means, about one-third of the population lives in the state that has legalized cannabis. Taking this into consideration, it can be said that the future does look bright in terms of cannabis legalization.
As of right now, federally, cannabis is considered a Schedule 1 drug. Such classification of cannabis remains a controversial topic. The Controlled Substances Act was signed into law in 1970. It was established to regulate certain substances. Although, because of its wide array of therapeutic benefits, it first became legalized for medical use in California, back in 1996. It was then legalized for adult-use in 2016 in California.
Although federally illegal, you can get the herb with a medical marijuana card in Rochester. Manage your condition effectively with the strain of your choice.
What Do People Want?
Recently a poll was conducted by Fresh Gallup. It said that about 68% of the American population supports the legalization of cannabis. Statistically, this year is not that different from the 66% seen last year. But because of the change in the political climate, cannabis advocates can feel optimistic about the future of cannabis. Today, more than any point in the last 20 years, the people in our country is more likely to support cannabis legalization.
Is There Ever Going to be a Change?
On Thanksgiving weekend, the Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the floor vote for the federal prohibition of cannabis was scheduled for this week. The MORE Act soughts to end cannabis prohibition illegally. The floor vote is considered to be one of the most significant Congressional vote regarding cannabis.
Most believe that such a comprehensive cannabis law bill has never been introduced in the Congress before. Last year in July, it was introduced by the today Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris. The bill was widely celebrated by the cannabis advocates as it seeks to remove cannabis from the CSA (Controlled Substances Act). Furthermore, it aims to federally decriminalize the herb.
Not just that, if the ball is passed, the federal courts will have to expunge previous marijuana convicts. Also, it will allow the offenders to request for expunction of their criminal records.
When the MORE Act was introduced last year, it was widely hailed by cannabis supporters. Neal Levine, director of Cannabis Trade Federation in a statement said, “A strong and steadily growing majority of Americans believe it is time to end our nation’s failed experiment with cannabis prohibition…..There are thousands of state-regulated cannabis businesses operating around the country, employing hundreds of thousands of workers and generating billions of dollars in tax revenue. They deserve fair treatment under the law, and that is one of the goals this legislation seeks to achieve.”
Kamala Harris And Cannabis Legalization
Believe it or not, there was a time not so long ago when Kamala Harris publicly opposed cannabis legalization. She was very vocal about it. Then, she was holding the San Francisco District Attorney office. Although, her opinions regarding cannabis has evolved over time. This change of heart of Harris was widely criticized by people as they believe it was purely on political grounds.
Last year, discussing the MORE act and the status of cannabis in the country, Kamala Harris said, “We need to start regulating marijuana and expunge marijuana convictions from the records of millions of Americans so they can get on with their lives…….As marijuana becomes legal across the country, we must make sure everyone…especially communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs…has a real opportunity to participate in this growing industry.”
The MORE Act is believed to easily pass the house this week. But that is only half the battle. The US senate remains in the hands of the Republicans who have been pretty vocal about their opposition towards cannabis legalization. Senator Mitch McConnell in a statement said that he will never let cannabis be legalized under his watch. So, this might be a little disappointing for the cannabis advocates. But will he have a change of heart too? Well, that is for the future to decide.
Considering the trajectory of cannabis popularity and the political changes happening in the country, it will not be that far fetched to believe that there will be a change soon. With democrats in the driving seat now, the hope of cannabis legalization seems all the more real.