In 2020, the House of Representatives passed the MORE Act, which would have legalized marijuana and expunged the criminal records of people convicted of marijuana-related crimes. The legislation died in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Just a few months after the MORE Act’s failure, marijuana legalization is a hot topic again. Senators. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a joint statement Monday saying they would work together to advance comprehensive cannabis reform legislation in the current Congress.
“The War on Drugs has been a war on people—particularly people of color. Ending the federal marijuana prohibition is necessary to right the wrongs of this failed war and end decades of harm inflicted on communities of color across the country. But that alone is not enough,” they said. “As states continue to legalize marijuana, we must also enact measures that will lift up people who were unfairly targeted in the War on Drugs.”
This time, the Democrats do not have to worry about marijuana reform getting shot down in the Senate. While the Senate consist of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, vice-president Kamala Harris is the tie-breaker and she has made it clear that she believes in the legalization of cannabis.
How fitting would it be for a marijuana legalization act to pass in the Democratic Congress, ends up a tie in the Senate; and whether or not weed is legalized in the Unites States is all up to a woman who was born to a Jamaican father. That would be poetic justice at its best. Even Harris when asked if she ever smoked marijuana responded, “half my family is from Jamaica, are you kidding me.”
Although Blacks voted for Joe Biden in large numbers, the president was one of the lead proponents of the so-called “war on drugs” in the 80s and 90s, which was actually a war on poor people and led to thousands of Black and Brown incarcerations. However, during his presidential campaign he said that he would support rescheduling cannabis to make it legal.
Vice president, Kamala Harris, also said she wanted cannabis to be legalized. So the senators do have major support in their efforts to reform the marijuana laws.
So knowing Biden’s stance, coupled with the initiative started by the Democratic senators, it is fair to anticipate that marijuana will be legalized in 2021 and the deciding vote came from a woman of Jamaican heritage. Peter Tosh will be looking down and smiling while doing puff puff pass with Gabriel and the other angels.