Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Where do things stand with Federal Marijuana legalization?

With all the doom and gloom surrounding most of the marijuana news out there, it may be worthwhile to look ahead and see if we have anything to look forward to in the near future. With Republicans in charge of the House, the common expectation is that most weed legislation will be dead on arrival. But that may not be the case this time around.

An op-ed over at Marijuana Moment makes the case for, at the very least, SAFE banking to come through sooner than later. This is the bill that would allow marijuana companies to work with banks as opposed to dealing in cash and leaving them vulnerable to robberies. It’s the one piece of legislation that virtually everybody agrees with and the absurdity of this not getting through our congress reveals the Kafkaesque nature of the institution more every day.

Kevin McCarthy, new speaker of the house, has voted in favor of this law, and a few of his colleagues are in some high positions (like Rep. Brian Mast, the co-chair of the House Cannabis Caucus). If and when it comes up again, SAFE Banking will still have the votes in the House.

So the Senate is left in the same place as the last 7 times SAFE Banking has been pushed to them. This time, however, the Democrat-led Senate would look like the bad guys if they didn’t let this pass, which would be disastrous for the party and could even lead to them losing this issue. They’d have no choice but to pass it, despite the lack of political points they’d receive.

So SAFE Banking is something we can look forward to. Representative Nancy Mace, a republican, has a federal cannabis legalization bill in her own name, so there’s potential there, but likely not much movement until it becomes apparent to the Republicans that weed is a winning issue. This could happen after they pass SAFE Banking. So in a twist of fate, we could be seeing the slow transition of marijuana from Democrats to Republicans in the next couple years, and that all starts with SAFE Banking.

Read the original op-ed at Marijuana Moment.

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