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Donald Trump Could Legalize Marijuana Next Month (But It Would Mean Crediting Kamala Harris)

buy weed online with credit card.Chris RobertsContributorVicesI cover cannabis capitalism: legalization’s winners, losers, scammers and suckers.

President Donald Trump is

afraid of marijuana.

He said so himself: In a campaign appearance

in Wisconsin earlier this month, the president

crack a nervous “joke” with former Gov.

in Wisconsin earlier this month, the president

Scott Walker, suggesting that cannabis-relate

in Wisconsin earlier this month, the president

ballot initiatives drove Democratic

in Wisconsin earlier this month, the president

Party-mind voters to the polls.

in Wisconsin earlier this month, the president

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One easy way to dispel

those fears, and take the weed issue away from Joe Biden and the Democrats, would be to legalize cannabis nationwide. That would be historic, that would be momentous.

And would be something the president could do before Election Day.

Republicans Hold Virtual 2020 National Convention
President Donald Trump could absolutely legalize marijuana before Election Day, but it would require … [+] GETTY IMAGES

Once business in Congress resumes in

September, the House of Representatives

plans to vote 

on a wide-ranging bill called the MORE Act,

according to a leaked e-mail blast U.S. Rep.

Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina)

 first reported on by Marijuana Moment on Friday.

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One of several marijuana reform

measures in Congress, the MORE Act would

remove cannabis from the Control

Substances Act and allow for a lawful

nationwide marijuana industry. (Other,

more conservative reform focused on

allowing cannabis businesses to access

banks has already passed the House.)

If Clyburn is right, and the House holds a

vote on the MORE Act during the

 September work period, the bill is likely to

be approve, given the Democratic majority

and a handful of cannabis-friendly

Republicans.MORE FOR YOU

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Then, if a similar bill in the Senate is also

call for hearings, gets a vote, and gets approve,

in Wisconsin earlier this month, the president

legalization could end up on the president’s

desk fairly quickly. Maybe even before the

first presidential debate on Sept. 29!

in Wisconsin earlier this month, the president

That’s how it could happen. That’s the theory.

So what about practice?

That’s all up to the Senate… and it would also require Trump and the Republicans to give credit to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California), Biden’s vice-presidential nominee.

Harris is the sponsor of the Senate version of the MORE Act. Thus, the president legalizing marijuana in this scenario would also grant some kind of win for a political opponent.

That presents quite the trade-off, and that’s why it’s probably not going to happen—even if it would quantifiably help the president.

Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris Delivers Remarks In Washington DC
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 27: Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA.), … [+] GETTY IMAGES

Only a handful of states have

marijuana reform on their ballots in November, and none of them—New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, Nebraska, Mississippi, and South Dakota—are swing states, meaning marijuana by itself is unlikely to swing the election.

However, many other swing stages have active cannabis industries, with many undecided voters—like Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. These are the states that decide most every election. And according to recent polls, in these states, Biden and Trump are very close—with Trump a few points behind in Florida.

Cannabis reform remains

popular with a majority of Americans of all

political persuasions, including members of

both the Republican and Democratic coalitions

who may be feeling left out, like libertarians

upset with Trump’s big-government moves,

and leftists unhappy with the Democrats’

embrace of centrism.

So weed absolutely could influence the

election—and if a hanging chad or three was

enough to give the White House to George

W. Bush in 2000, cannabis reform absolutely

has potential to tip the scales in 2020.

All that said, Trump can do nothing unless

the Senate does a lot: call either Harris’s

MORE Act or their version of the SAFE Banking

Act for a committee hearing, pass it, call it

again for a floor vote and pass that, too.

That would be a remarkable show of cooperative

bipartisanship that would be popular with a

majority of Americans, who would in turn be

encourage to see their government function.

And so that’s why legalization

during Trump’s first term almost certainly will not happen.

The consensus on the Hill is that the Senate is unlikely to bother calling either the MORE Act or its less-ambitious marijuana-reform counterpart, the SAFE Banking Act, for even a committee hearing. But even if the Senate does as expected, and does nothing, the House’s impending consideration and possible approval of the MORE Act is still significant.

“Democrats have a really

important opportunity to pass a comprehensive bill that addresses marijuana reform at a time when millions of people are taking to the streets to challenge the status quo,” said Queen Adesuyi, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, one of the advocacy groups backing the MORE Act.

As for the Senate, well, they “have trouble even hearing marijuana issues, so we have a lot of work to do,” Adesuyi said. “But right now there’s an opportunity in the House to make history.”

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