More details have emerged on the upcoming federal marijuana legalization proposal, and it may be as ambitious as it is unrealistic for the United States’ capitalist ethos.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer just posted a video on his Twitter page detailing his plan to introduce cannabis reform in 2021. Scheduled to be filed in a few days, Schumer said the bill would focus on small businesses to prevent Big Tobacco from hijacking the cannabis scene, “justice, justice, justice” and freedom.
It’s been a long time since the federal marijuana ban and the harm of the war on drugs were undone.
WATCH: I spoke to @SenBooker and @RonWyden this week about how we’re working together on legislation for major marijuana reform. https://t.co/jfKxJOsIzq
– Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 18, 2021
Schumer said“We don’t want the big tobacco companies and the big liquor companies to get in and take over. The legislation we have is going to ensure that smaller businesses, businesses in color communities, get the benefit because color communities have paid the price for decades. You should at least get something back. “For decades,” the Senator continued, “young men arrested with a small amount of marijuana in their pockets served long sentences. Then they committed a crime and could never behave properly.”
All of Schumer’s ideas sound well and good, but is it really possible to keep the big dogs of American trade away? This question is sure to be examined – this year and in the years to come. While the US Senate is hell-bent on getting closer to cannabis reform this year, divisions in Congress and a skeptical president could make it nearly impossible for Democrats to get anywhere near a “comprehensive” cannabis bill approved earlier this year .
Photo by Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images
According to the Daily beastPresident Biden has just forced dozens of White House employees to resign for admitting to using marijuana. Even if a spokesman for the Biden administration says “well-qualified applicants with restricted marijuana use will not be prevented from serving the American people,” it still does not explain why the White House is firing people for the substance in the first case. The undertones suggest that Biden isn’t all cannabis-related.
Meanwhile, Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco already have tied together Create a national lobby group to do exactly what Schumer is trying to avoid – a complete hijacking of the cannabis industry. Therefore, Senator Schumer, in his limited leadership, must fight the American way – capitalism – to get his vision of a marijuana law in the books in the coming months.
RELATED: Marijuana Reform Could Be Lost To Scorched Earth Senate This Year
The real focus of the US Senate appears to be on drafting a “restorative justice” law that includes the legalization of marijuana. Senator Cory Booker said on Schumer’s video that the nation cannot have one without the other. “It’s not just about creating an environment for states to legalize, it’s about restorative justice, and that’s a number of things,” said Senator Booker. “It’s one to make sure we erase records. Don’t talk about adult use of marijuana for free without talking about record clearing. Number two, tax money – it will be a billion dollar business. This tax revenue should be reinvested in those in these communities. “
Senator Ron Wyden, one of the three key players in the Senate’s marijuana legalization campaign, believes the group “now has a real try to make progress”. However, I cannot decide whether this stance is wishful thinking, megalomania, or just some other political illusion that is meant to make the Democrats look progressive and productive.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
There’s a lot against the cannabis reform debate this year. Lean majorities in both houses, the controversial fate of the filibuster, the Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell’s threat with one Scorched Earth Senateand Biden’s apparent anti-cannabis stance could all negatively affect this fight. The end of the pot ban is greater than that of the Senate Democrats. It’s an accomplishment that will require considerable reach from both sides of Congress and the White House in order to gain enough traction to move forward. One way or another, divergence and bad blood are likely to continue to be the ultimate saboteur.
RELATED: If Senate Democrats’ cannabis reform idea is safe banking law, they should give up now
Earlier this week we predicted If the Senate Democrats were propped up against a wall, they could try to pass a skimpy banking law calling it cannabis reform. Wall Street analysts have since come out to confirm that such a move is exactly what the party plans to do if they can’t garner enough support for full legalization. It’s “the backup plan when Democrats can’t legislate,” Cowens Jaret Seiberg said recently told Market observation. “Right now there is pressure to pass a cannabis law,” said Seiberg. “Passing the SAFE bill would ease that pressure, which means legalization would likely not get a Senate vote. Because of this, it is more likely that if the votes to legalize it are not in place, it is more likely that an attempt will be made to pass legalization with the safeguard plan of transitioning to SAFE. “
We’ll soon see if Schumer’s plan to legalize marijuana while keeping the cannabis industry in the hands of small businesses has an impact. It is highly unlikely that it will. This is America, after all. Even at the state level, marijuana companies have gambled on stakes well above their pay grade. They tried to compete with the big dogs and now they are officially in the cage.
RELATED: Is It Bad For Big Booze And Big Tobacco To Help Shape Marijuana Legalization?
Schumer’s concept of a small national cannabis sector and return to devastated drug war communities could be seen as gentle and laughing. Either way, the cannabis industry will at some point turn the horns up with Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco to stay in control. These two mega-industrial sectors have extremely deep pockets and far too much political experience to move away from potentially billions of dollars.
No, this is just the beginning.