Congress won’t include any cannabis provisions in its year-end spending package, dooming the chances of an overhaul of marijuana laws for the foreseeable future.
It is not only possible to Congress fail to legalize marijuana this year, lawmakers couldn’t even agree to include a modest anti-crime cannabis reform as part of a $1.7 trillion government funding bill set to pass this week.
Reformers hoped that lawmakers would pass a bipartisan bill allowing marijuana companies to open bank accounts. Currently, even if a business operates in a state with legal weed, most banks won’t take the firm’s deposits because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
Since most marijuana firms must operate cash-only, criminals are attracted to them.
Many top Republican senators opposed the provision, including Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.Ky.), and John Cornyn(R.Texas).
“It is irresponsible to do this without a federal regulatory framework to address public health and law enforcement issues. Senators take an oath to uphold the law, not ignore it,” Cornyn tweeted The banking bill was mentioned last week.
Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who is the Republican lead cosponsor for the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, which regulates cannabis bank operations, made a sad statement Monday. “communities in Montana and across our country will remain vulnerable to crime where legal businesses are forced to operate in all-cash.”
American Bankers Association supported the bill. stating in a letter last year that banks don’t like being caught in the conflict between state and federal law, “with local communities encouraging them to bank cannabis businesses and federal law prohibiting it.”
The prospect of cannabis reform looked brighter at the start of this Democratic-controlled Congress. The House passed an expansive bill that legalized marijuana throughout the country earlier in the year. However, it failed to pass in Senate because of opposition. Republicans Many Democrats, and some Republicans. After that, reform became more important than passing incremental changes like the Banking Bill.
The bill’s nine Republican sponsors were not enough to get it the broad bipartisan backing it required to be approved for funding. It’s possible that it could have passed with a stand-alone vote, but Democrats had failed to schedule one.
“They’re dead set on anything in marijuana,” Sen. Cory Booker (D.N.J.), who is a supporter for marijuana legalization, said NJ.com Leadership of the GOP “That to me is the obstacle.”’
With Republicans With the House in control by next month’s election, there are very slim chances that any major legislation will become law, even marijuana reform. Republican House members are readying scores of investigations into the Biden administration, and they’re planning for a big confrontation with Democrats over spending and deficits.
It was the failure Congress To pass marijuana reforms is a stark contrast to public support. Recent polls show that the majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana for adults. The majority of states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, while 18 have approved recreational cannabis use.
Given the opposition in the Senate to full legalization and even small-bore changes to federal marijuana policy, it’s not clear how Congress It is unlikely that any law that matches public opinion about cannabis could be passed.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden — who pushed the war on drugs during his long career as a senator — Annouced In an October surprise, he announced that he would forgive thousands of federally charged marijuana users who were simply in possession.
Biden, too Federal agencies ordered To reconsider whether marijuana is on the top of the most deadly illegal drugs list, even though cannabis reform supporters insist. don’t have much confidence Legalization will be achieved after the review is completed.
Cannabis legislation is just one priority being left out of this year’s spending bill. Democrats wanted to add an Parents get a larger tax credit. EAfghan vacuees sought legal assistance Stay in the United States. AAdvocates of anti-monopoly demanded that landmark antitrust legislation be included.
A reform of the presidential election process was the only significant policy change that made it into the bill. This is to avoid another attack such as the one on January 6, 2021. The Electoral Count Act is supported by a broad coalition of senators. It was the only non-related policy rider that lawmakers were willing to add in the government funding bill.