Tuesday, March 31, 2020
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How Impeachment Could Affect Marijuana Legalization

While Democrats have made it their mission to change federal marijuana laws since taking over the U.S. House in 2019, they have also unwittingly put the issue in jeopardy by trying to run President Trump out of office.

There are a couple of scenarios that might unfold in the next year that would allow marijuana to be legalized at the federal level. No, it’s not going to happen in the coming months, but there is a good chance we could see it in 2021. That’s the good news. 

However, some punk politics are happening right now that could stop such a thing dead in its tracks. And sadly, it’s going to be the Democrats fault. Because while the party has made it its mission to change federal marijuana laws since taking over the U.S. House in 2019, they have also unwittingly put the issue in jeopardy by trying to run President Trump out of office. Yep. We could be in big trouble. 

There are several seats up for grabs in the U.S. Senate next year. Depending on the political loyalty of the nation come November, it is conceivable the Democrats could win control of the upper chamber, putting the party in a position where it has total control of Congress. It goes without saying this would be good for marijuana.

Their first line of business would be to remove Mitch McConnell from his influential role as Senate Majority Leader. From there, the Democrats would rule Capitol Hill. Any piece of legislation the party would choose to pursue, including anything cannabis-related, would move through the House and Senate without issue.

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In a perfect world, one where the U.S. voters hit the polls in November and elect a Democratic president, the marijuana issue would undoubtedly get the support it needs in 2021 to become recognized as a legitimate part of American commerce. All of the Democratic candidates, except for Joe Biden, have come out in support of ending federal marijuana prohibition. Some believe Biden might even change his tune if he happens to get the keys to the White House. 

But there is also a damn good chance President Trump will snag the 2020 election and lead the nation for a second term.  

update on white house secret marijuana committee
Photo by Flickr user Hannah Rosen

Now, it is important to point out a Trump victory doesn’t necessarily ruin the prospect of weed going legal in 2021. Trump has indicated he is open to supporting cannabis legislation. He’s also big on state’s rights. He’s admitted prohibition (of anything) doesn’t work. “When you watch prohibition, when you look at the alcohol, you look at cigarettes, you look at it all, if you don’t give it to them, it’s going to come here illegally,” Trump said in a recent vaping meeting. “That’s the one problem I can’t seem to forget… you just have to look at the history of it.”

Unfortunately, Trump is never going to support marijuana legalization as long as it’s part of the Democratic agenda. Why? Because the party is now hellbent on getting the president impeached.

The party introduced a couple of articles of impeachment, suggesting Trump is a criminal for his communications with Ukraine. They also assert he is guilty of obstruction of justice and bad taste. Seriously, some Democratic lawmakers, like Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, are trying to take this impeachment up a notch by nailing Trump for “abuse of power, especially the racist abuse of power, and some of the direct violations [of] the Constitution.” 

Naturally, Trump is miffed about these charges. In a Twitter post that came hours before the articles of impeachment were released, Trump called the Democrat’s pursuits “sheer political madness.” 

“To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country’s history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness!” 

Trump’s nervous Tweets have not stopped since, which signals just how bothered he really is about this inquisition. 

And what’s the end game here? At face value, this impeachment does nothing except brew more bad blood between Democrats and Trump. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that any of the charges are going to stick.

RELATED: The MORE Act Legalizing Marijuana Is Doomed — Here’s Why

The Senate is already working on a plan to have Trump cleared should he be impeached. The upper chamber could vote to dismiss the articles of impeachment, resulting in an acquittal. This is what they are gunning for. Still, if push comes to shove, the Senate could simply employ a nuclear vote (51-vote procedural motion) to get the charges tossed out. Senator McConnell has indicated that he will only seek a motion to dismiss the case if he can get the 51 votes needed to do it. And he probably can. Republicans are thick as thieves on the Hill. 

most influential republican in congress will not support marijuana legalization
Photo by Richard Sharrocks/Getty Images

So, this means all of the noise surrounding the articles of impeachment might be for nothing.

But Trump is never going to forget it, no matter how it all shakes out. So in a scenario where the Democrats gain control of both the House and Senate in 2020 and finally get the chance to change the federal marijuana laws, they could find themselves completely helpless in getting it done.

It is doubtful Trump would sign any piece of legislation that slides across his desk that benefits the Democrats. Especially not now that they have done everything but drag him out on the White House lawn and flog him with a wet rubber hose. Sadly, we could see a time in 2021 when marijuana legalization is so close we can taste it, but it will go nowhere because of a grudge.

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