Marijuana has been in the decriminalization process since 1973 with many states over the years passing laws to either authorize the use of marijuana or prohibit it. It is time to stop treating marijuana like a deadly drug, when science and public opinion agree that it is relatively safe for adult recreational and medical use. With recreational and medical marijuana on the verge of nationwide legalization, marijuana growers and dispensaries are popping up everywhere.
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President Donald Trump is attempting to pass a major criminal justice reform bill in the Senate that’s garnering controversy from within his own party. So it probably won’t help that another Republican is attempting to add marijuana legalization to the bill.
Republican Senator Cory Gardner will introduce an amendment to the upcoming Senate criminal justice reform bill that will guarantee that states can legalize marijuana without interference from the federal government. The amendment is essentially the same as the STATES Act that Gardner introduced earlier this year along with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. That bill received support from President Trump, but never received a vote in the Senate.
The problem is Gardner’s amendment would likely kill the criminal justice bill. Republicans are already conflicted over passing the criminal justice reform bill, as the party’s reputation has been built on law and order, and many hardline members of the GOP don’t support many of the provisions in the bill regarding minimum sentences and other aspects. Throwing an amendment to protect legalized marijuana would likely not help add support to an already controversial bill within the Republican Party.
So while Gardner will likely attempt to add his amendment to the bill, it’s probably unlikely that it will pass a vote in the Senate. But if Gardner can somehow convince his conservative colleagues to back him on this, that could be a huge win for cannabis.
This article was first published on https://www.cannabisimp.com.