Now that our neighbor to the North has officially legalized recreational marijuana and will reap the benefits of millions of tax dollars it seems the White House is now willing to consider federal marijuana reform. California Representative Dana Rohrabacher recently revealed that President Trump made a “solid commitment” to address federal marijuana reform after the midterm elections.
To what extent these reforms will truly be remains to be seen, but Representative Rohrabacher feels confident that Trump will follow through with his campaign promise of federally legalizing medical marijuana. Reform advocates are hoping that cannabis will not be rescheduled but descheduled all together.
In a recent interview Rohrabacher stated that, “I have been talking to people inside the White House who know and inside the president’s entourage… I have talked to them at length. I have been reassured that the president intends on keeping his campaign promise.”
As the 30 year incumbent, Representative Rohrabacher has been fairly progressive when it comes to cannabis legislation but is now facing a close race in the midterms against democrat Harley Rouda. Early polls are showing that they are virtually tied and many democrats feel like this is a seat that could help turn the House of Representatives blue.
As to the timing of the supposed federal marijuana reform, Rohrabacher went on to say that, “I would expect after the election we will sit down and we’ll start hammering out something that is specific and real.” That is if he is still a sitting representative for California.
The President has avoided the cannabis issue at all costs during his first two years in office but did commit to Senator Cory Booker of Colorado that he would support legislation to protect State’s right to choose legalization. Democrats in the House of Representatives aren’t holding their breath for the White House to make good on campaign promises.
Yesterday, Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer penned a letter to House Democrat leaders announcing a path to federal legalization by the end of next year. The proposed plan would break down each piece of cannabis legislation and bringing it before the appropriate House committee. Blumenauer noted that, “Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis. There is no question: cannabis prohibition will end. Democrats should lead the way.”
In either case, it looks like 2019 could bring some very substantial victories in terms of federal marijuana reform. Doing so would likely result in a windfall of states legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes if not full on recreational use. The midterm elections will certainly play a factor in which party beats the other to the punch, but for now Federal restrictions will leave the industry in the starting blocks while Canada races ahead.