Mitch McConnell is still Capitol Hill’s cannabis grim reaper
Cannabis advocates, still optimistic about how Senate Democrats will fare in passing a comprehensive marijuana reform bill later this year, should pay close attention to the recent vote on the Capitol Uprising Commission. There, the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, showed America and anyone watching that despite his demotion in the upper chamber, he is still the same bloodthirsty Capitol Hill grim reaper he ever was.
The Democrats were powerless last week when the Republicans in the Senate disrupted efforts to set up a bipartisan commission to delve deeper into the Capitol attacks. McConnell has proven not only that he still has the power to rally the troops in times of need, but that he possesses a deadly weapon known as the filibuster (an old Senate rule that a 60-vote super majority in controversial issues) and he’s not afraid to use it. All but six Republicans voted against and killed the measure.
McConnell has proven that he still has control of the Senate, and that means big trouble for weed.
Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer now wonders if he has enough weight behind him to advance the democratic agenda. He still has a lot to do. All the successes the party has enjoyed so far this year have been achieved through the budget balancing process, which only requires a simple majority. They didn’t need Republican contributions to approve President Biden’s massive COVID relief bill. You also won’t need any help from them in adopting additional budget-oriented measures. But above all, the Republicans still have a lot of blocking power.
RELATED: Senate Democrats Must Destroy Mitch McConnell For Marijuana Reform
Despite the majority, Schumer and his crew lost their first real Senate fight. Meanwhile, a popular law to legalize cannabis, known as the MORE Act, has been tabled in the House of Representatives while the Senate is preparing a similar measure. That legislation would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, remove some criminal convictions related to cannabis, and allocate a percentage of federal tax revenue to revitalizing the communities most devastated by the war on cannabis. The move was passed by the House of Representatives last year but not even considered in the Senate under McConnell’s leadership.But all hope is not lost.
The most interesting aspect of the vote on the January Capitol building is that it was close. In fact, had it not been for McConnell’s opposition to the law, it would have had the 60 votes it took to win the Senate. We know more and more Republicans are starting to support the concept of marijuana legalization, or at least decriminalization. The question is, have enough conservatives changed their minds to paralyze the filibuster and get a cannabis law forward, with or without McConnell’s support? You can bet Schumer is currently trying to find out who is on his side. Still, McConnell seems intent on stopping the Biden administration at every turn. He recently told the press that “our focus is 100% on stopping this new government”.
Photo by Nicholas Kamm-Pool / Getty Images
He is concerned that Biden’s plan will result in a loss of democracy.
“We face serious challenges from a new administration and a slim majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives and a 50-50 Senate to turn America into a socialist country, and that is what I am 100 percent focused on,” said McConnell.
RELATED: What Chuck Schumer Can Do On Marijuana As Senate Majority Leader
Some are not convinced that McConnell’s testimony means that he plans to fight every single measure that runs through the upper chamber. But it’s no secret that McConnell is no friend of marijuana. He has spent much of his career preventing cannabis reform so much that it is debated in the Senate. Although he was instrumental in legalizing industrial hemp a few years ago, nothing McConnell said last year suggests that he is ready to offer his support for cannabis. So when Schumer finally unveils his long-awaited statute legalization of marijuana bill, he will likely face the wrath of McConnell, the GOP filibuster, and many disappointed cannabis fans.
According to national survey data, most Americans believe the time has come for the federal government to change the country’s marijuana laws.