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Why The Most Pro-marijuana Congress Ever Won’t Deal With Weed

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Rep. Ed Perlmutter, the chief sponsor of the banking bill, said he hopes it will come up for a vote on the House floor in the next few weeks. | David Zalubowski/AP Photo

Why the most pro-marijuana Congress ever won’t deal with weed

Two-thirds of Americans support legalization, but legislation seems to be going nowhere fast on Capitol Hill.


09/09/2019 05:01 AM EDT

This could be a big moment for marijuana and Congress.

But Democrats are fighting Democrats over whether to focus on social justice issues or industry priorities like banking. Marijuana advocates are divided among themselves over whether to push for full legalization or settle for less far-reaching legislation. And many Republicans — some of whom are seeing the benefits of cannabis legalization in their home states — are still decidedly against any legalization on the national level, even for medicinal uses.

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At the same time that Congress is in gridlock, there is growing national support for cannabis, which is illegal at the federal level but at least partially legal in 33 states. In addition, public opinion is shifting rapidly, with nearly two-thirds of Americans supporting legalization according to Gallup — double the level of support two decades ago. That’s led to a steadily growing number of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who represent states with legal cannabis markets, making them more sympathetic toward legislation aimed at helping the burgeoning industry — which brought in roughly $10 billion in sales last year.

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/09/marijuana-congress-1712973

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