Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Oreg.) has been a long time advocate of marijuana legislation and he is now confident that President Biden will ‘stay out of the way’ on marijuana legalization.
The representative is optimistic about the chances of ending the federal prohibition of marijuana as Democrats control both chambers of Congress.
This week the House passed the Safe Banking Act with support from both Democrat and Republican lawmakers. The bill now heads to the Senate and has a chance of passing. Previously the bill had stalled in the Senate when it was controlled by the Republicans.
“It’s the difference between night and day,” Blumenauer said to Yahoo Finance Live. “We had more progress in the last Congress than ever before with the MORE Act, with my research bill, with the SAFE Banking Act — but it all went to Mitch McConnell’s hospice in the Senate. Now, we are in an entirely different dynamic.”
The MORE Act was passed by the House in December and ends the federal prohibition of marijuana. The Senate hasn’t taken up the bill as of yet.
Currently Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) is working on a comprehensive marijuana reform package along with Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Oreg.) — which will include ending the federal prohibition.
“My thinking on this issue has evolved. A number of states, including very recently my home state of New York, have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults and those experiments by and large have been a success. The doom and gloom predictions made when states like Colorado or Oregon went forward and decriminalized and legalized never occurred,” Schumer said on the Senate floor on Tuesday. “The American people are sending a clear message that they want this policy changed.”
According to Blumenauer, speaking to Yahoo! Finance, Schumer, Wyden and Booker working on the issue is a boost to reform efforts.
“Having those three people and the fact that this is not going to be bottled up,” said Blumenauer. “If it gets to the floor, it’ll pass.”
“It’ll be legalized by Congress,” said Blumenauer. “I think Mr. Biden is looking at some of his criminal justice activities in the past a little differently, but all we need for the federal government to do is stay out of the way — and I’m confident that he will do that.”