Where The New Republican And Democratic Congressional Leaders Stand On Marijuana

Where The New Republican And Democratic Congressional Leaders Stand On Marijuana
MJ moment

This month’s elections put Republicans back in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, raising questions about the prospects of marijuana reform in the next Congress. In recent years it has been repeatedly shown that cannabis legalization and smaller, incremental reforms such as banking access have majority support to pass. But whether marijuana legislation advances or stalls in the next two years will largely come down to whether those who are in leadership allow the measures to even be brought up for votes. The full House still needs to formally elect a new speaker at the start of the new Congress in January, but the Republican caucus has already made their picks for top leadership positions. Democrats, meanwhile, have yet to hold a caucus election to fill the top spots for the 118th Congress, but members appear to be rallying around a new generation of expected incoming leaders. While not all decisions have been finalized yet, there aren’t expected to be any major surprises. So here’s a look at where the key lawmakers in both parties stand on marijuana and other drug policy reform: Republicans House Speaker Current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was nominated by his GOP colleagues earlier this month to be elected as speaker. While it remains to be seen whether he can get a majority of at least 218 votes on the floor in January to officially get the job, McCarthy’s prospective election is not an especially ideal scenario for legalization advocates, as he’s opposed various reform proposals—though he did vote for a bipartisan cannabis banking bill twice. McCarthy voted against the House-passed Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act to legalize marijuana earlier this year, and he’s also opposed multiple amendments to provide protections for state-legal recreational, medical and CBD-only cannabis programs. This week,…

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