Given the economic woes caused by the coronavirus pandemic, more states are beginning to see that cannabis legalization could be part of the remedy. New Jersey is expected to approve recreational-use cannabis on Election Day, and some believe approval in New Jersey will trigger a domino effect along the East Coast.
Five states this fall -- Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Mississippi -- will be voting on whether to legalize cannabis. The growing map of cannabis legalization is important because, as Steven Hawkins (executive director of Marijuana Policy Project) stated, “Most lawmakers are going to respond for their constituents…Even if they [representatives] don’t become [cannabis] champions, they’re not going to vote no for something their constituents have come to embrace.”
Democratic leaders are making it clear that cannabis will be a priority if they retake the Senate. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer explained his own advocacy, “‘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. And that fits in with all of the movement now to bring equality in 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.”
Marijuana Business Daily
Lobbying for cannabis reform in the U.S. Congress has evolved from a fringe issue a decade ago to a political priority that, this year alone, has absorbed more than $3 million and scores of registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C