The New Green Deal
Democrats and their new found majority have vowed to push for federally legalized marijuana this year, and it looks as if they will do it with the support of our country’s citizens behind them. The number of Americans polled each year in favor of marijuana legalization continues to grow, reaching its highest point yet at 68% in the most recent Gallup poll. While another 32% said it should be legal for medical use only and just 8% said the drug should not be legal at all.
Furthermore, 15 states have already medically and recreationally legalized marijuana, and another 20 have legalized it medically only.
Recreational and Medical: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington
Medical: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, West Virginia
Taking this and many other factors into consideration, senators Chuck Schumer (NY), Corey Booker (NJ), and Ron Wyden (OR) have partnered and promised to place widespread reform on marijuana law at the top of their list during the current session of Congress. Additionally, they intend to offer “restorative justice”, which would allow those who have been previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes to be let off, or at the very least have their cases reviewed. The group seeks to “undo” the damage done by the War on Drugs, which they deem to be more of a “war on people”, specifically people of color.
Considering that every initiative regarding marijuana legalization or decriminalization passed in a bipartisan Congress last session, a Democratic-owned House and Senate should pave the way to success. While the three senators do not have any definitive information just yet, they anticipate releasing a draft on what they refer to as “comprehensive reform” early this year.