The website Fivethirtyeight.com is a go-to website for many of us political poll watchers as the site compiles polls and provides a sober analysis of the political issues of the day. For a sports fan like myself, the site throws in a few sportsballs takes as well. The site features a “Confidence Interval” segment where one or more of their analysts lays out their confidence level regarding a certain political take. Today, the site tackled whether cannabis will be legal by 2024 at the federal level, with the insight provided by senior writer Amelia Thomson-Deveaux. I agree with her analysis.
First, some of the good news, as Thomson-Deveaux lays out: cannabis legalization has grown increasingly popular across political demographics, with a supermajority among Democrats and majority support with Republicans and the House passed the MORE Act last year. But, the more sobering news: political support by the people doesn’t equate with automatic support from politicians; just because support among Republicans has hit 50%, that doesn’t mean that GOP politicians will now support legalization.
As I’ve previously blogged, Thomson-Deveaux agrees that we can expect a more piecemeal approach, with Congress passing positive legislation, such as the SAFE Banking Act, as we inch step by step closer to ending cannabis prohibition. I agree with this “hot take” and would love to be proven wrong. One one hand, it can be very discouraging that we are still having to fight for such an obvious change in federal law. On the other hand, it can be encouraged by the fact that we have come a long way over the past decade. Ten years ago, there were no states with legal cannabis. Now, we have 15 states, with more on the horizon. While we may not get the legalization bill that we want by 2024, we are making great progress and just need to keep speaking the truth and holding our elected officials accountable. Step by step, state by state, the truth and common sense are setting us free.