There have been a lot of bizarre developments in the past six weeks that may, perhaps, signal that the United States is on the brink of ending marijuana prohibition once and for all.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently introduced legislation aimed at making hemp an agricultural commodity, while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning to file a bill designed to decriminalize the doobie all across the nation. Toss in the news of former Speaker of the House John Boehner’s entrance into the cannabis industry and President Trump’s promise not to crackdown on legal marijuana states and it sounds like some fairly influential folks are pushing for pot.
Although the incessant anti-marijuana babble coming from the mouth of US Attorney General Jeff Sessions sort of tricked the country into thinking that the nationwide marijuana debate was a dead scene for the next few years, 2018 is shaping up to be one of the best years in the arena of cannabis reform since Colorado became the first state to sell legal weed in a manner similar to beer. In fact, even Sessions said he believed in marijuana research a couple of weeks ago.
Now, some federal lawmakers believe that federal marijuana prohibition is finally at the end of its rope.
“I think the next Congress will finish the job of reform, and clean it up,” Representative Earl Blumenauer told Politico. “We’ve got the votes in the House and the Senate and there will be a huge shakeup in the next Congress.”
It could happen now if not for the same bill-blocking Republican shenanigans that have prevented pot reform from getting a fair shot over the years. “I think this Congress, if the Republican leadership would not stifle this bipartisan consensus of virtually every Democrat and several dozen Republicans, if they’d just allow the vote, it would pass [a number of measures],” Blumenauer explained.
A recent article from the American Prospect backs up the lawmaker’s claim. In the piece, journalist Paul Waldman predicts that marijuana will go legal nationwide within the next three years. This move, he says, will be due to a shift in overall party power.
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“There’s a good chance that Democrats will take back the House this November, then win the presidency and control of the Senate in 2020,” he wrote. “With control of the government in hand, 2021 would see a raft of progressive legislation on a variety of issues, many of which will produce bitter, lengthy legislative battles. But ending the federal marijuana ban? That one will be relatively easy.”
Some of the latest data shows that a nationwide cannabis industry would generate $132 billion in federal tax revenue and create more than a million new jobs. If the predictions are accurate, this could be the scene across the United States sometime around 2025.