A measure to legalize medical cannabis at the federal level will be introduced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, and the news has marijuana proponents celebrating.
“This is a significant step forward when it comes to reforming marijuana laws at the federal level,” Dan Riffle, director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “This is a proposal that Republicans and Democrats should both be able to get behind. It’s a matter of compassion and justice, states’ rights, public safety, and medical choice.”
The bipartisan bill will be sponsored by Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Democrats Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand, of New Jersey and New York respectively.
If the measure succeeds, it would have resounding implications for MMJ businesses across the country, ranging from finance issues (taxes, banking, 280E) to paving the way for new markets.
Marijuana has become a much less partisan issue in recent years, with prominent Republicans such as Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, going on record with the position that states should have the right to determine their own policies on marijuana, regardless of where the federal government stands.
Several national polls have also found relaxing attitudes toward marijuana across the country. Most recently, the General Social Survey found that 52% of Americans back legalizing marijuana.