‘We’ve been bringing people on to our bill two-by-two, a little like Noah’s Ark…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) A bipartisan bill would end the federal ban on cannabis and allow each state to decide its own policies, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, promised a vote on the legislation if Democrats win the Senate majority in the 2018 midterm elections.
Warren, who introduced the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States” Act, said the bill likely has the votes to pass the Senate.
But there’s an obstacle: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, won’t permit a vote on it, The Hill reported.
McConnell has remained opposed to cannabis legalization, despite supporting a bill to legalize hemp.
“I do not have any plans to endorse the legalization of marijuana,” McConnell said in May, The Hill reported.
Warren introduced the STATES Act alongside Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado.
“I support Sen. Gardner,” Trump said in June, Los Angeles Times reported. “I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”
The bill would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, eliminating the federal government’s ability to regulate the “manufacture, production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of” it.
On marijuana legalization, Trump has separated himself from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who wants to increase federal prosecutions.
But McConnell and Sessions have to fight against legalization with waning support from the American public in the last two decades.
In January 2018, 61 percent of Americans supported legalization, whereas in 2000 only 31 percent backed it, according to the Pew Research Center.
Nine states have legalized recreational cannabis use, and 29 states allow it for medicinal use.
Warren said senators, both Republicans and Democrats, have steadily moved to favor eliminating cannabis from its Schedule 1 classification, where heroin and cocaine currently reside.
“We’ve been bringing people on to our bill two-by-two, a little like Noah’s Ark,” she said. “A Democrat and a Republican join hands and become cosponsors on our bill. We now have multiple cosponsors. We have lots on the House side. In other words, we have a lot of people on McConnell’s team who are pushing McConnell to do this.”