Thursday, May 13, 2021

New York just legalized weed. So what’s next with marijuana reform?

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New York and New Mexico just legalized weed, and now more than 1 in 3 Americans live in states where marijuana is fully legalized. Yet weed remains illegal nationally and is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug. But things are starting to change.

With Democrats now in control of the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has made it a priority, along with colleagues Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) “to end the federal prohibition on marijuana.” With 10 Republicans needed for passage and moderate Democrats still on the fence, any proposed legislation on legalization faces an uphill battle.

On the other hand, the White House breaks with the majority of Democrats in opposing legalization. According to Gallup, 83 percent of Democrats support legalization. Whether this stance will change, especially if a legalization bill is framed as criminal justice reform very much remains to be seen.

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