Federal government could be closer to legalizing marijuana

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Marijuana reform continues to gather momentum on Capitol Hill

2019 has already proven to be a banner year for marijuana in Washington, and the year is only four months old. There is still time to see major changes at the federal level and a new bill introduced to both the Senate and the House simultaneously looks to help push reform along to prevent lawmakers from becoming complacent.

The Marijuana Justice Act has been introduced to both the House and Senate through their respective submission channels. It seeks to remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, which would effectively end the federal criminalization of cannabis. This would allow more cannabis research, as well as open the industry across the country.

The MJA also would eliminate existing racial disparities that are found in state-level marijuana tests. It would expunge federal marijuana convictions and would allow certain federally-incarcerated individuals to file for a new sentence. It would also create a fund that would direct federal money to those communities that have been impacted by the failed war on drugs.

There is little doubt that the federal government is going to end its cannabis prohibition. What remains to be seen is how this is going to happen, and when. 10 states, as well as D.C., have already legalized recreational marijuana and 33 have legalized medical marijuana. Almost 75% of the country is in favor of federal marijuana reform, up from 63% just a few short months ago. With that kind of support, lawmakers are going to have to listen.