Today marked a big win for marijuana… Look, we know we’ve been saying that a lot lately, but weed just keeps winning as our favorite psychoactive plant slowly (but surely) makes its way toward full legalization. This week’s win comes out of the United States House of Representatives (we told you it was big!), which voted to decriminalize and tax marijuana at the federal level in a 228-164 win.
According to AP, the bill sets out to officially remove marijuana from a list of federally controlled substances, allow states to still make their own rules and decisions regarding pot, and use money from a new tax on marijuana to help reverse some of the damage done by the decades-long “War on Drugs,” expunging existing federal marijuana convictions and arrests. This is absolutely huge, and the only reason you’re not hearing more about it is that this bill is essentially dead on arrival at the Republican-controlled Senate.
Even though this vote is destined for failure and the votes fell pretty much along party lines with 222 Democrats and just 5 Republicans voting to pass the bill, it’s still an indication that this is where a large portion of the American public’s heads are at when it comes to legalizing weed. Right now, marijuana is legalized in 15 states across the country, with four states voting to increase access medically or recreationally in 2020 elections alone. So make no mistake, weed will be legalized in America in our lifetimes.
Hold up if there’s this much broad public support for marijuana, why is this bill destined for failure in the senate?
Because of Mitch McConnell. Not only has the Senate Majority leader already mocked the bill in deflections over the Senate’s inaction on a Coronavirus relief bill, sarcastically calling the marijuana bill “serious and important legislation befitting this national crisis,” but he’s let similar weed-related bills die on the Senate floor by never offering them up for a vote, like a bill passed in the House last year that would give pot businesses access to traditional banking services.
Could a handful of Republicans and all of the Democrats in the Senate get this bill to pass? It’s possible, but McConnell will never put it up for a vote to begin with.
So then all hope is lost?
Nope. On January 5th Georgia will enter a special runoff election to decide which two senators will represent the state. If both Democrats win, control of the Senate will go to the Democratic party, Mitch McConnell won’t be Speaker of the House anymore, and this bill will surely pass. That means Republicans have essentially put marijuana on the ballot in the Georgia runoff election, which has got to be the dumbest political misstep by the Republican party since… well, you know.
TLDR: If you’re a Georgia resident who doesn’t give two f*cks about politics and you just wish you could get high in your state legally, you’ll get there a lot faster by voting for the democrats on January 5th.