WASHINGTON, D.C.- A Democratic member of Congress has announced a detailed plan to end federal cannabis prohibition next year should his party regain control of the House after next month’s elections.
“Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) wrote in a document to House Democratic leaders. “We have an opportunity to correct course if Democrats win big in November. There’s no question: cannabis prohibition will end. Democrats should lead the way.”
Previous bills to decriminalize cannabis have been stalled by Republican majorities in Congress. Democrats have a strong chance to regain control of the House next month but their prospects in the Senate are not as high.
Blumenauer seems to have figured a GOP controlled Senate into his plan. He is proposing a series of Congressional hearings on the topic and to consult with experts. Blumenauer expects House committee hearings on rescheduling cannabis, providing access for veterans, and opening up the banking system for cannabis businesses.
“Representative Blumenauer has put forward a very ambitious plan with many great ideas,” Jordan Friedman, Founder & CEO of Zodaka, a payment processing company that works with high-risk markets including the cannabis industry.
Andrew Jolley, CEO of The+Source’s two Las Vegas dispensaries, supported “Representative Blumenauer’s continued leadership on this important economic, societal and legal issue. The vast majority of Americans now support legalization and many states, including Nevada and Oregon, have demonstrated why. It’s time to completely change our country’s flawed approach to drug law, especially regarding marijuana.”
“We applaud Representative Blumenauer and his forty-year quest to end the prohibition of cannabis. We know, as he does, that the people of this country have spoken – and we are extremely proud to work with him on achieving his vision of a bipartisan victory for cannabis,” Kyle Speidell, Co-CEO of The Green Solution’s 16 locations in Colorado.
While Blumenauer’s plan has the support of most Americans (polls show that close to 70 percent of Americans support cannabis legalization), getting his plan passed could be an uphill battle.
“I would be surprised if all of Representative Blumenauer’s goals are achieved within the next year, though it is possible considering the momentum of the movement,” Friedman said.
Democratic leadership seemed less enthusiastic about the idea. Nancy Pelosi indicated that any changes in federal cannabis law would require President Trump’s support. However, President Trump does not support most of what the Democratic Party seeks and Pelosi seems less inclined to have a public drag-out battle on the issue of cannabis reform than she does on other issues.