All eyes are on the Senate now that the House has passed their own Marijuana legalization legislation, and Schumer has been promising action for a long time now. However, signs are pointing to legislation hitting the Senate floor by the end of this month, and we’re starting to get some opinions from Senators on the bill.
“I would not think it would pass the Senate right now, republican Senator Roy Blunt tells The Hill.
The consensus seems to be a lack of enthusiasm on all fronts.
To make the bill filibuster-proof, Schumer will need 60 votes. That’s all of the Democrats in the Senate as well as 10 Republicans. Getting a yes from all of the Democrats will be a tall order in and of itself.
For instance, Joe Manchin continues have concerns about legalizing recreational marijuana, although he is supportive of medical marijuana.
Another Democrat, Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire had this to say to The Hill:
“I have concerns about recreational marijuana, and given the substance abuse crisis we have in this country, and we have an issue in New Hampshire and the lack of comprehensive data on how people are affected.”
As a reminder, public opinion on recreational marijuana is continually rising. As of a November poll from Gallup, 83% of Democrats, 71% of independents, and 50% of republicans are for it. Perhaps some Senators will start to change their tune when more and more republicans across the country voice their support for legalization.
At this point, it seems Schumer, Booker, and Wyden are fighting a losing battle that is becoming destructive. Schumer has blocked the SAFE banking bill from passing the Senate despite bipartisan support, and has halted any talk of bills that would simply expunge records. His desire for a sweeping action feels less like a smart strategy and more like an egotistical grab at getting credit.
Read the full story at The Hill.