Marijuana is STILL listed as a dangerous drug under Federal Law….
Banks are still reluctant to handle marijuana business interstes money….
The bill will be a close call for the Senate with sevral Republican senator on board….
But will they be enough?
The House is poised to pass legislation this week that would legalize marijuana, just the latest example of the swiftly changing attitudes on drug laws that marks a near reversal from the Reagan-era war on drugs that also reverberated through the 1990s.
The bill legalizing marijuana has near-uniform support among Democrats and a top ally in Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), who has been aiming to introduce a similar measure this spring.
And it’s just one of several pieces of legislation that underlines the shift in Congress’s attitude — a change that has come about in part because of the way past drug laws have disproportionately hit minority communities.
“This Congress represents a sea change,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.
“What we have seen is that the majority of people now realize that the war on drugs failed,” Blumenauer told The Hill. “Drugs are more accessible and cheaper and more potent and dangerous. Nobody won this war, except people who were involved with the drug dealers themselves.”
The House has voted twice in the past year, most recently as part of legislation to bolster U.S. competitiveness, to enable legally operating cannabis businesses to use banking services and credit cards instead of having to function as cash-only.
On Thursday, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to expand scientific and medical research on marijuana and its compounds, including cannabidiol.
The flurry of action in Congress isn’t limited to marijuana legalization.
The House passed a bipartisan bill last fall — by a margin of 361-66 — to eliminate the federal disparity in prison sentences for crack and powder cocaine offenses. All of the votes in opposition were from Republicans, but a majority of the House GOP overall joined all Democrats in support….