[author: Susan Ryan]
Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
We spend a lot of time looking at what’s happening in the states, as that’s where most of the action is right now. This week, however, let’s turn our eye to the federal government. Polling suggests that federal legalization is popular, so what are the feds doing to respond to that? Research on weed made its way into the infrastructure bill. There’s a bill that would direct the VA to research cannabis and PTSD. Republicans introduced a bill to legalize marijuana. A CRS study says the Biden administration could take steps to legalize on its own. There’s a lot going on! And finally, Sir Paul McCartney talks about Bob Dylan and marijuana.
68% of adults favor legal marijuana. Democrats and Independents support it more than Republicans, but 50% of GOP voters support legalizing. This year’s Gallup poll shows support holding steady; similar results turned up in a Pew survey earlier this year. A Rasmussen Reports survey showed slightly higher support across all groups.
So what is the federal government doing to “give the people what they want?” Well, the infrastructure bill lets researchers use something other than government-grown cannabis in their studies. Testing the marijuana that people are actually buying should give more accurate data.
MARIJUANA AND VETS
Many vets suffer from PTSD and use cannabis to treat it. They are allowed to tell their doctors that they use marijuana, but their doctor can’t give them any advice on how best to use it. A new bill introduced by Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) would direct the Veterans Administration to study cannabis to treat PTSD and other diseases. Correa believes the agency is dragging its feet on research. He hopes the legislation would spur them to action.
REPUBLICAN CANNABIS BILL
Usually, it’s been Democrats who have been in favor of legalization. Now, Republicans are getting in on the act. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) will introduce the States Reform Act, which would reschedule marijuana and set up a regulatory structure. How far will this bill go? Will Democrats sign on as co-sponsors? We’ll keep our eyes open and let you know!
Could the President just legalize cannabis with a wave of his pen? Well, not exactly. A report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says the President has considerable power to influence federal agencies. So if he can’t just end federal prohibition, he could certainly speed things along.
Sir Paul McCartney credits Bob Dylan with introducing the Beatles to marijuana.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!