Congress may well not have enacted the big cannabis reforms this yr that advocates experienced hoped they would, but in a new report bipartisan lawmakers are touting various modest wins they have been able to achieve—saying they are “optimistic” the situation will continue on to progress even more in 2023.
In an conclude-of-calendar year memorandum, the Congressional Cannabis Caucus stated their accomplishments, which features President Joe Biden signing the first-at any time piece of standalone marijuana reform laws to encourage investigate into the plant.
Co-chairs Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dave Joyce (R-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Brian Mast (R-FL) also regarded the passing of founding caucus member Rep. Don Younger (R-AK) earlier this yr.
They mentioned he was fiercely focused to “ensuring Alaskans and all Us residents had the prospect for a improved daily life not just for currently, but also for tomorrow and the long term.”
In conditions of legislative achievements this 12 months, the caucus experienced considerably a lot more to notice on the House facet: a cannabis legalization bill passed the chamber, as did hashish banking reform laws.
Unfortunately for advocates, the bipartisan momentum in the Dwelling normally did not translate into passage in the Senate, except for the hashish exploration monthly bill that Biden signed. And there was refined recognition in the memo that the endeavor may well proceed to verify difficult in the up coming Congress, which will see Republicans acquire management of the Property.
“The Congressional Hashish Caucus has introduced collectively a wide coalition of members from assorted communities around the state who all concur: it is time for Congress to at last reform federal cannabis policy,” they wrote. “There will be some large alterations in the next Congress, but a person matter that will not improve is that a greater part in the two the Residence and the Senate favor reform. We are optimistic for our skill as a caucus to assistance navigate these improvements and make further progress.”
Blumenauer, who has been 1 of the most vocal and constant champions of cannabis reform on Capitol Hill, claimed in a push launch that he’s “proud that we produced historic development to ending the unsuccessful federal prohibition on hashish.”
Of system, that satisfaction accompanies disappointment this 12 months: even with the Dwelling progress, lawmakers had been unable to move a much-anticipated package deal of incremental hashish reforms—the so-identified as Harmless Additionally laws to take care of marijuana banking problems and aid expungements.
Senate The greater part Chief Chuck Schumer (D-NY) worked to establish bipartisan, bicameral consensus, but the laws was in the end excluded from substantial-scale defense and paying charges this month, in big element because of to opposition from crucial GOP associates like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
The caucus is highlighting lesser victories and recommitting to advancing the difficulty even further following calendar year.
“While function continues to be, there have been significant developments more than the study course of the calendar year,” the memo states.
Outdoors of Congress, the caucus also pointed out that Biden issued a mass cannabis pardon in October and directed an administrative critique into the federal scheduling of hashish.
“As we changeover to the 118th Congress, we should heed the calls of the American community and consider bold motion to stop the failed war on medicines at the time and for all,” the lawmakers said.
The memo ends with a listing of states that have legalized cannabis for medical and adult-use—the broad bulk of states when hashish stays strictly prohibited below federal legislation.
“While the function continues on lots of hashish policy priorities, such as the Safe and sound Banking Act, we are settled to preserve up the struggle in the new Congress,” Blumenauer mentioned. “With 37 states with medical cannabis programs and 21 states with legal grownup-use marijuana in some capability, almost 50 % of the U.S. inhabitants now are living in jurisdictions with some sort of legalized grownup-use cannabis. Congress will have to catch up with the the greater part of People who support ending the unsuccessful and discriminatory federal prohibition.”
Go through the Congressional Cannabis Caucus memo on 2022 reform achievements underneath:
Picture courtesy of Mike Latimer.