For the marijuana debate to move forward anytime soon, the people are going to have to vote Democrat in November.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the self-proclaimed Grim Reaper of Capitol Hill and longtime gatekeeper to the upper chamber, seems to have forgotten what it means to live in a democracy.
The lawmaker is presently sitting on nearly 400 pieces of legislation recently pushed through by the House of Representatives, including one marijuana-related bill, that he admits will not pass the Senate.
Democrats have been complaining about McConnell’s tactics for a while now, arguing that the lawmaker alone is what stands in the way of progress on several issues. Last week, during an interview with Fox News Friday, anchor Bret Baier asked McConnell if the accusations were real.
Not surprisingly, the senator, all cocky and contemptuous, straight-up admitted that no bill on the party’s agenda is going to get a fair shake in the Senate.
“It is true,” McConnell said. “They’ve been on full left-wing parade over there, trotting out all of their left-wing solutions that are going to be issues in the fall campaign. They’re right. We’re not going to pass those.” Instead, he continued, both chambers will “have to work on things we can agree” on, such as government spending, the Mexico-Canada free trade agreement and some environmental issues.
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But as for marijuana, you had better believe it’s one of those “left-wing” issues that McConnell isn’t entertaining.
Last year, the House overwhelmingly passed a marijuana bill known as the SAFE Act. The bill was simple enough in design. It didn’t call for the legalization of marijuana at the national level or anything too severe, only that banks be given permission to do business with the cannabis industry.
Regardless of its lightweight nature, the bill has been lingering in political purgatory for months waiting for the Senate to answer its call. House lawmakers have been pushing McConnell to respond to the bill, but he has continued to ignore it every step of the way. And from the way it sounds, the situation isn’t about to improve for cannabis reform in 2020. No sir, marijuana is pretty much a dead issue this year, no matter what type of legislative magic makes its way through the House.
This is the real reason Democrats are hellbent on taking back control of the Senate, something that is possible in the November election. All of the power on the Hill would mean that their agenda could move forward without much drag at all, which is something that the Democrats have been missing for years.
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And, to be quite honest, their chances at winning are good.
Several Senate seats are up for grabs this year, and the Dems are strategically working to see that they get filled with all the right people. Unfortunately, this means the anti-Trump part of the population could lose their presidential candidate of choice. Ever since Democrat Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary last week, reports have been circulating about how the powers-that-be probably will not nominate him to be the face of their campaign. They are worried that his socialist views might prevent them from gaining the necessary votes to win the Senate.
This strategy, however, could end up backfiring. Even with the Democrats in control of both the House and Senate, their mission to further marijuana reform (and many other issues) will go down in flames if President Trump wins a second term. Although it worked out for him in the end, Trump isn’t about to forget that it was them that fought tooth and nail to have him impeached. Therefore, we could see a situation next year where bills are getting vetoed as quickly as they are passed.
It’s impossible to predict how the government will look come 2021. But for the marijuana debate to move forward anytime soon, the people are going to have to vote Democrat in November.
But will they?
That’s tough to call, as well. Right now, not only is the government divided but so are the people. A recent Gallup poll finds that roughly 28 percent identify as Democrats, 28 percent as Republicans and 41 percent as independents. Unfortunately, the marijuana issue alone is not strong enough yet to create a united front – this in spite of the fact that 66 percent of the population supports the cause.