Senator Booker joins Cannabis.net to take down Emperor McConnell for stopping the legalization of marijuana in America
Cory Booker, a New Jersey senator, believes that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell significantly influences his peers’ decisions to vote against approving cannabis laws during the lame duck session. As Cannabis.net pointed out a few days earlier, “Emperor McConnell” is the only reason the US doesn’t have a federal plan to legalize marijuana.
Last week, McConnell said he was relieved that marijuana banking reform wasn’t included in the final draft of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). At the time, McConnell reiterated that the NDAA will not be derailed by irrelevant liberal nonsense, as its members deserve and as Republicans insist.
This significant opposition has influenced Senate Republicans, who are considering supporting the marijuana-banking legislation, Booker said. The legislation aims to allow financial institutions to offer services to legal marijuana businesses while supporting those hardest hit by the drug war. Booker, a Democrat, believes McConnell will prevent marijuana-related legislation from moving forward in the next two years.
“They are absolutely against marijuana,” Booker told NJ Advance Media. That’s the obstacle for him… The caucus is undoubtedly divided, but those in power in their camp are staunchly opposed to any action on cannabis. Brian Mast, a Florida congressman, Afghan War veteran and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, seems to agree with Booker.
“Cannabis banking reform isn’t something that Mitch McConnell has traditionally been interested in or appears to be interested in right now,” Mast told the publication. Although he should. “Cannabis banking reform is as important an issue as Republicans have been in recent months on states’ rights regarding Roe v. Wade argued.”
Marijuana activist Justin Strekal hopes the SAFE Act will be included in overall budget legislation. As such, Republicans would not have to vote on legalizing marijuana as a separate law and “override Mitch McConnell before him.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) addressed the Senate on Wednesday and boasted about how Republicans could pull cannabis-banking reform out of a sizable defense budget passed Tuesday night. He also stated that the “lesson” must be carried over to upcoming omnibus legislation, which some members are already considering as an alternative means of passing cannabis legalization.
McConnell hinted at his intent to thwart the attempt earlier this week, calling the cannabis measure one of Democrats’ favorite things to leave out of defense legislation. His efforts paid off. He led a victory parade in the Senate on Wednesday and indicated he would aim to thwart any future attempts to include non-German issues in the omnibus appropriation legislation.
McConnell said, “I’m pleased that this Democrat-led Congress has recognized that protecting America is a fundamental legal obligation.” “It’s not a Republican goal for which Democrats can demand irrelevant goods,” he said. “No party, not just the current presidential party, can ever accept the idea that they have to be bribed or bartered to support our troops.”
Notably, he also hinted that Republicans could use a similar method to block cannabis banking reform from enforcing must-pass spending legislation that proponents see as an alternative vehicle for the lame duck session. “We have made it clear that we are not going down this path. “Our Democratic colleagues have finally accepted it,” the minority leader noted. “This same lesson must now be incorporated into our subsequent discussions of government funding.”
McConnell is vehemently opposed to including the cannabis banking measure in the Funding Act. On Wednesday, he made the following comments on state funding in the Senate, saying he would support the package if it didn’t include “poison pills.”
“Nevertheless, the schedule will make this a difficult sprint,” the minority leader noted. “If a truly bipartisan, no-poison pill bill comes into the Senate for consideration by the end of next week, I will support it…Otherwise, we will create a short-term bipartisan bill for next year.”
More fights follow
Despite the uncertainty, tensions and speculation, SAFE Banking supporter Rep. Ed Perlmutter remains optimistic. According to an employee in Perlmutter’s office, he continues to push as aggressively as possible and communicates with leadership.
While the NDAA’s failure to reform banking has disappointed proponents, the struggle to implement the reform through independent omnibus legislation simmers. Details of the so-called SAFE Plus package, on which Senate Majority Chairman Chuck Schumer has been working for months with bicameral and bipartisan offices, became known this week.
The SAFE Banking Act and a second bipartisan plan to encourage federally legal cannabis deletions are intended to serve as the basis for this package, which can also be submitted and approved as a standalone package. Sources have told Marijuana Moment for several months that lawmakers are discussing the inclusion of SAFE Plus terms to protect the rights of Second Amendment cannabis consumers.
This will be done by excluding individuals in legalized states from a federal restriction that bans any “illegal user” of a prohibited substance from possessing a firearm. According to Politico, the current negotiation plan includes the Gun Rights And Marijuana Act (GRAM).
Meanwhile, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) wrote to Senate leadership urging a vote on the SAFE Banking Act “without further delay” by the end of the year. “This proposal has significant bipartisan support and would eliminate a disconnect between federal and state law and address a serious public safety issue,” the ICBA said. The ICBA commissioned a survey earlier this year to demonstrate this support. “We encourage its immediate implementation.”
Another poll released last week found that three out of four American voters, including bipartisan majorities, support lifting the state’s marijuana ban, overturning previous convictions and allowing banks to partner with state-legal cannabis companies.
While this year’s window for passage of the SAFE Banking Act appears to be closing, Democrats are not giving up on the idea. Democrats are now making sure every day counts as they try to flip the script in their favor. Meanwhile, the Marijuana Policy Project’s campaign to “help pass state cannabis reform by calling your senator now” has gained momentum on Twitter and is being shared by many industry experts, analysts and supporters.
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