On Thursday the US House introduced a bill to remove cannabis from the list of controlled substances as listed in the Controlled Substances Act, Rolling Stone reports. The bill, called the Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019 was introduced by Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Don Young (R-AK) as part of a bipartisan effort to reform cannabis laws and allow states to make their own decisions regarding the legality of cannabis. This is not the first time such a bill has been introduced, but it is the first time a bipartisan bill has been introduced.
Regarding the bill, Gabbard had this to say in a press conference, ““We’ve seen now for generations how our archaic marijuana policies based on outdated myths and misplaced stigma have been used to wage a failed war on drugs.” She’s right, it’s long past time that we as a country admit that the war on drugs has been a complete and utter failure.
States that have legalized cannabis for recreational use have seen some improvements with regard to criminal justice reform, but the federal status of cannabis has made it difficult to gain much progress, particularly when the federal government still aims to make life difficult for cannabis users and dispensary owners. Gabbard goes on to say, “We’ve seen the impact on families torn apart, communities left fractured, and the over-criminalization and mass incarceration that has become the norm, making an impact on the people in our communities as well as the taxpayer dollars being spent on this broken criminal justice system.” It should be noted here that Gabbard recently announced her run for president in the 2020 race and has always been a strong proponent of ending the drug war.
Will 2020 be the Year?
This effort by the US House is as stated above, not the first time such legislation has been introduced, but it stands the best chance of passing. Bipartisan support for legalization is higher than ever before, and a majority of American adults are in favor of ending cannabis prohibition. Even if this bill does not pass, others like it will come along in its stead. With so many seats up for reelection next year, we might see some lawmakers in Washington evolve on their previously stated positions.
Gabbard is not the only presidential candidate that has made legalization a part of her platform. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) has also made ending prohibition a major part of his platform. Reformation of cannabis laws has already begun to be seen as a winning strategy. New Jersey governor Phil Murphy won his gubernatorial race largely because of his stance on legalizing cannabis in the state of New Jersey. Other popular candidates who later won their races, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) also expressed their favor for ending cannabis prohibition.
Will 2020 be the year we end cannabis prohibition? It very well could be!
Source: Rolling Stone
Image Source: Washington Post
Will the US House bill pass, or will 2020 be the year? Tell us in the comments