Will State Cannabis Ballot Wins Lead to Federal Reform?
The 2020 election did not only cement the national pivot away from Trump’s politics, but it opened the door for novel marijuana legislation in numerous states. With Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota’s passing bills to legalize adult-use marijuana, American citizens across the political spectrum are ready to say goodbye to the prohibitionist stance on drugs.
However, state law and federal law on the matter continues to stand at odds. Following Joe Biden’s victory, many Americans are hopeful that marijuana reform may be on the horizon.
Now that 34 states have legalized cannabis in some form, a good majority of the fifty states have made it clear that the federal approach to drugs is no longer congruent to the opinion of its constituents. As a result, many people are wondering if federal reform will be considered to amend the legal status of cannabis. While advocates agree that lawmakers must represent their constituents’ views, the question remains a hot topic of debate.
With marijuana remaining illegal on the federal level, it is still difficult for these new states to begin their programs. Those looking for funding have difficulties getting loans due to banks not working with them for fear of federal laws interfering. These issues will continue to mount and add pressure to national legislators to reconsider the matter, as it could greatly alleviate the stresses of medical marijuana growers and dispensaries.
A bipartisan effort could propel states into getting access to legal marijuana. The U.S. Senate has been the most significant barrier to federal marijuana reform, so a change there would be welcome to the marijuana industry. What has primarily held up federal reform is the Republican stronghold in the Senate, led by majority leader Mitch McConnell.N/o>
Even though Biden will soon take over duties in the Oval Office, his Democratic policies must first bear the Senate’s scrutiny. If precedent stands, it’s unlikely for McConnell to embrace a bipartisan approach to the matter. However, in light of the national divisiveness, this is a political opportunity to bring parties together during such a conscientious time.
Given the passage of marijuana legalization legislation in traditionally Republican states like Mississippi, Montana, and South Dakota may signal to Republicans in the federal office that it is time to reconsider the matter. Moreover, veterans have called for the legalization of marijuana as well, which is currently prohibited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Considering that veterans are most commonly typified as Republican voters, their call for reform may catch the attention of stubborn lawmakers.
Two Acts are likely to be voted on in 2021 if Covid 19 relief does not push these issues back further. The STATES Act would allow individual states to decide whether to legalize while protecting such programs from federal interference. The MORE Act would remove marijuana entirely from the federal Controlled Substances Act by de-scheduling the plant, thereby legalizing it nationwide.
Whether or not the STATES Act and the MORE Act will pass is a matter of time, but if you are located in one of the states where marijuana is legal, you don’t need to wait for federal reform. In order to qualify for a medical marijuana license, you must first set up an appointment and complete a consultation.
If you are seeking to obtain your MMJ card in Colorado Springs, Medical Alternatives Clinic Online offers medical marijuana evaluations for Colorado residents. Ready to start your process toward getting a medical marijuana card? Set up an appointment online today in minutes, providing easy access to medical marijuana in Colorado Springs with qualifying conditions.