Amanda Walker

Legislators Expect Federal Legalization in 2019

Reps. David Joyce (R-Ohio) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) said at the Cannabis Law Institute in Washington, D.C. that public support backs the legalization of cannabis across the country and they expect the bill that makes it happen will be introduced in the 2019 Congress, according to a report by Leafly.

Both Congressmen said that many congressional races across the country will have cannabis as a core issue, and that may determine what happens with legislation next year. The Representatives both said that the recently-introduced Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act and other cannabis legislation are likely to pass no matter who controls Congress next year.

Rep. Joyce said he considers cannabis legalization a state’s rights issue. “States have made it available medically,” he said. “People should be able to receive it, and we should do more studies on it.”

“Most people want legalization, at least for medical purposes. That’s why I think we will see successes on the fall ballot. There is no downside for a candidate who embraces it.” — Rep. Earl Blumenauer, via Leafly

Rep. Blumenauer said he thought a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in November would accelerate the process of cannabis law reform.

“If we take back the House, I guarantee there will be committee hearings,” Blumenauer said. “Once we get hearings, I think the dominoes will fall very quickly.”

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