Sunday, June 27, 2021
Natalie Fertig of Politico has this effective new piece highlighting that Senate Republicans do not seem to be moving off their opposition to broad federal marijuana reform even as more and more red states enact reform. The piece is headlined "Republicans are watching their states back weed — and they’re not sold," and here are excerpts:
Marijuana’s popularity boom in red states isn’t breaking through with conservatives on Capitol Hill, pinching an already narrow path to federal legalization.
A growing number of Republican senators represent states that have legalized recreational or medical cannabis — six approved or expanded marijuana in some form just since November. But without their support in Congress to make up for likely Democratic defectors, weed falls critically short of the 60 votes needed to advance legislation.
Montana’s Steve Daines and South Dakota’s Mike Rounds, both Republicans, said they don’t support comprehensive federal cannabis reform, no matter what voters back home voted for....
Lawmakers whose constituents have already approved some form of legal marijuana are seen as the most likely to support loosening federal restrictions, but so far Republican senators appear largely unmoved by the will of voters when it comes to weed. In some states, such as Montana and South Dakota, marijuana did better on the ballot than their senators.
POLITICO spoke with a dozen GOP senators who represent medical or recreational cannabis markets in recent days. None committed to vote to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, but Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said they were open to discussing ways to remove federal cannabis penalties. Others, however, said they were not on board with any type of federal cannabis legislation.