With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris set to move into the White House on top of a Democrat controlled House and Senate, marijuana may finally be getting the legal push it needs for decriminalization and even possible federal legalization. With several republican lawmakers also leaning towards marijuana reform, the topic has nearly become a bipartisan issue at this point. While any marijuana bill will have to wait its turn in line as legislators deal with more pressing matters like COVID relief, it’s only a matter of time before marijuana talks make it to the Senate floor.
As far as the presidency goes, it appears that Biden has largely warmed up to the idea since his stance against drug reform during his time in the Senate back in the 90s and early 2000s. His running mate, soon to be Vice President Kamala Harris, has also come a long way on topics like decriminalization since her days as a prosecuting attorney that often opposed the idea. She too is expected to support pro-marijuana legislation.
Unlike President Trump, Biden has said on the campaign trail that his administration will pursue marijuana decriminalization and expungements for people with prior cannabis convictions. He also favors medical cannabis legalization, modestly rescheduling marijuana under federal law and letting states set their own policies without federal intervention.Kyle Jaeger of The Marijuana Moment.
Meanwhile the list of representatives in both the House and the Senate that support marijuana legalization continues to grow while dissidents are shrinking in numbers. Republicans like Mitch McConnell that were once blockades to any and all pro-marijuana bills are now in the minority and lack the power to stop Democrats from passing far-reaching drug legislation. While many of these politicians still oppose such measures, they simply lack the ability to prevent them in the coming years.
Senator Chuck Schumer, who has already promised to push forward with marijuana talks, is now the Majority Leader and is sure to make good on his promises. How quickly he and other supporters will be able to do that has yet to be seen. They may be able to include several drug policies in other legislation that they pass. It’s very possible that we could start seeing earmarks that include policies that had previously been blocked by republican majority being attached to incoming bills like coronavirus relief and healthcare reform.
Now is the time for citizens to reach out to their federal, state, and even local representatives regarding marijuana policy progression. With all the chaos that has taken place over the past few months it may help to remind lawmakers that they could easily move forward with such matters while dealing with more pressing legislation at the same time. Groups like The Marijuana Policy Project are helping people do just that by setting up easy to use automated services that help inform legislators of the importance of passing various drug reform laws. Either way, the future of a world with legal marijuana is looking brighter than it ever has before.