Will the 2020 Election Lead to Federal Cannabis Legalization in 2021?

Cannabis legalization, for both medical and adult use, is on the ballot in a few more states in 2020. Will more state victories lead to some common sense cannabis banking and tax law reform? Or, dare we dream big that the federal government will finally end the failed and harmful policy of prohibition in the coming years? Next year?

It’s always dangerous to pin your hopes to the words of most politicians, but if things go right, Uncle Sam could finally sweet Reefer Madness cannabis prohibition into the dustbin of history. Leafly has a breakdown on where the state efforts currently stand as election day nears:

New Jersey? Fuhgeddaboudit. Voters there are expected to approve adult-use legalization (Question 1) in a landslide.

The adult-use vote (Prop. 207) in Arizona may be a little closer, with 55% currently supporting legalization and 37% opposing.

Montana legalization (I-190 and CI-118) looks secure, as long as undecided voters break at least partly in favor of adult use.

South Dakota voters seem to love medical legalization (IM-26) but remain split on adult-use legalization (CA-A).

In Mississippi, a lack of recent polling, along with new campaign donation data, lead us to put that state’s medical marijuana legalization measure (Initiative 65) in a tight 50-50 battle going into Election Day.

As Marijuana Moment reported, United States Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Green Enterprise that success at the state level has demonstrated that cannabis legalization works, it’s a necessary step to promote racial racial justice, and that he looks forward to championing a legalization bill next year:

“I’m a big fighter for racial justice, and the marijuana laws have been one of the biggest examples of racial injustice, and so to change them makes sense,” he said. “And that fits in with all of the movement now to bring equality in the policing, in economics and in everything else. Our bill is, in a certain sense, at the nexus of racial justice, individual freedom and states’ rights.”

Schumer’s legislation, the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, was first introduced in 2018 and was refiled last year with a House companion version.

If he’s reinstalled as senate majority leader, the top Democrat said he “will put this bill in play,” adding “I think we’ll have a good chance to pass it.”

Regardless of how the 2020 election plays out, or who you support, it will be imperative that the cannabis community continues to make progress at the state and federal levels. Small, craft cannabis businesses like Kind Leaf need banking and tax reform to fully unleash their potential. And we need to end the federal war on cannabis. Too many lives are being held back and ruined. Please vote, and make your voices heard.

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