U.S. politics continues to get in the way of the sensible legalization and regulation of cannabis. It’s hard not to get cynical about this.
Two-thirds of Americans want cannabis fully legalized – today. This includes a majority of voters from both of the corrupt incumbent parties.
Despite this, there is zero possibility of cannabis being fully legalized before the U.S. 2020 election.
Why? Because bills to legalize cannabis are being primarily sponsored by Democrats. And the White House is (currently) occupied by a Republican.
In the warped world of U.S. politics, cannabis legalization would not be a victory for the American people. Politically, it would be “a victory” for the Democrats.
The Republican-controlled Senate would never allow this. Indeed, the SAFE banking bill (which merely authorizes banking services for already-legal cannabis companies) may be torpedoed in the Republican-controlled Senate for precisely this reason.
But the Democratic Party can “play politics” with cannabis too. Several senior Democrats have publicly suggested they would torpedo SAFE if it didn’t have “social equity” provisions added – to address some of the harms that resulted from cannabis Prohibition.
This has nothing to do with cannabis banking. It would make passage of SAFE impossible (in a Republican-controlled Senate). It’s cynical party politics, with the legal cannabis industry being used as a political football.
Now the Democrats are playing politics – again. The U.S. House has announced what is being called “a comprehensive marijuana legalization bill”. It’s not.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE) is cynical U.S. party-politics at its worst.
- This is not cannabis legalization (or even “marijuana legalization”). It is merely cannabis decriminalization.
- There is zero possibility of this bill getting passed.
MORE seeks to “deschedule” cannabis in the U.S., i.e. no longer equate it with heroin in federal U.S. law. It (again) seeks to address some of the harms caused by Prohibition.
It’s pure politics because it is loaded with provisions that do not enjoy wide support by Republicans. There is no chance that this could ever make it through the Senate.
MORE is only being tabled so that when Democrats and Republicans are fighting out the 2020 election, the Democrats can position themselves as “the cannabis legalization Party”.
And (as noted above) it’s not legalization.
It doesn’t (officially) legalize cannabis nationally. It doesn’t force states to pass legalization legislation.
Cannabis is not “a state’s rights issue”. This is merely the language that cowardly Congressional Republicans and Democrats use to avoid taking responsibility for a federal issue.
The U.S. federal government brought in cannabis Prohibition. It is 100% responsible for all the harms that resulted from Prohibition. It is 100% responsible for passing progressive laws to undo those harms.
Ducking that responsibility by forcing U.S. states to legalize cannabis, one by one, is typical U.S. political cowardice.
Note that most state governments have echoed this cowardice. When U.S. states legalize cannabis, state governments pass-the-buck to local governments – forcing them to choose to actually legalize cannabis (or not).
That’s why cannabis legalization has been an abysmal failure in California: because cannabis is not really legalized. It’s only been partially decriminalized.
In addition, Congress and the current Republican administration already have blood on their hands – the blood of the victims of tainted cannabis vapes.
This is a problem that has occurred (almost 100%) from black market cannabis products. Yet the only tangible “response” from individual state governments has been to ban legal vaping products.
Yes, ban the safe products and force consumers to buy the dangerous products. Federally, there has been no response at all.
This is political negligence from individual state governments. It is political negligence (from Congress) that the federal government is not already well on the way to passing true “cannabis legalization” – to bring an end to this (so-called) “crisis” by nationally legalizing and regulating all cannabis products.
Two-thirds of Americans want cannabis fully legalized cannabis nationally, so they can purchase legal (and regulated) cannabis consumer products. Americans are literally dying from tainted black market cannabis products.
And all Americans get from the vast majority of federal and state U.S. politicians is political posturing.
Who do U.S. politicians really represent? It’s certainly not Americans.
Published at Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:17:24 +0000