It’s About Dem Time – Legalization Gets One Step Closer
In truth, I don’t usually take pleasure from being able to say “I told you so.”
I told you so. And it feels pretty great!
Last week I wrote a blog for you about the fact that cannabis legalization is happening in the United States, when former Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced he favors the policy change and is, in fact, now on the Board of Directors for the cannabis investment company Acreage Holdings. It’s a slow process, so I grant you that cannabis is still illegal. But with Republican leadership suddenly figuring out the popularity of cannabis, Democrats are also finally coming around to support the majority opinion of US voters. As cannabis enthusiasts worldwide celebrated their venerated holiday of 4/20, one prominent Democratic politician seized the opportunity to announce his support and leadership for what is tantamount to legalization at the federal level. Democratic heavy-weight and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has asserted his intention to introduce extremely progressive legislation in the US Senate to change the classification of cannabis.
Vice News reports:
“The legislation, which Schumer’s office expects will be released within the next week, has six main points. First, it would remove marijuana from Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of controlled substances, which would end federal prohibition and leave it up to states to decide how to regulate the drug. Schumer stopped short of calling it legalization, but de-scheduling would essentially make marijuana legal at the federal level.
“His bill would also would create some funding for minority and women-owned marijuana businesses, provide money for research into overall effects of marijuana and it’s specific effect on driving impairment. And lastly, it would ‘maintain federal authority to regulate marijuana advertising in the same way it does alcohol and tobacco,’ which Schumer said is to make sure marijuana businesses aren’t targeting children with their ads.
“Schumer went further saying that he would support legalization in his home state of New York as well as any other state that wants to move in that direction. ‘My personal view is legalization is just fine,’ he said. ‘The best thing to do is let each state decide on its own.'”
While Schumer may be shy to use the “L” word of legalization, there is no doubt that his bill would kick the door wide open for the possibility. The timing for this change has never been more urgent – nor more politically expedient. While it is somewhat frustrating to hear long-time opponents turn 180 degrees on this issue after years of reasoned arguments on the part of cannabis advocates, it’s frankly more satisfying at this point to say, “I told you so.”
Legalization is coming!
Hear the latest about legalization efforts in Canada, the United States and around the world at the International Cannabis Business Conference. Next up: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, June 24th & 25th, and then Portland, Oregon, September 27th & 28th.