Federal cannabis prohibition was first implemented in the United States in 1937. The initial legislation that was passed by Congress came after a methodical reefer madness propaganda campaign was waged from coast to coast by Harry Anslinger.
Eventually, the legislation was replaced with the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 which placed cannabis in the Schedule I category, where it remains to this day.
Schedule I substances are defined as having ‘no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.’ Obviously, it doesn’t take a doctor or scientist to know that cannabis is medicine.
Nearly every state in the U.S. has some form of medical cannabis, from CBD-only all the way up to home cultivation and regulated dispensaries. Fifteen states and Washington D.C. have now passed adult-use cannabis legalization measures.
With all of that in mind, federal cannabis prohibition still being in place in the U.S. is unconscionable. In 2021 a number of states are expected to legalize cannabis for adult use through the legislative process, making enforcement of federal cannabis prohibition that much more untenable.
The MORE Act, which would effectively end federal cannabis prohibition in the U.S. and make it a true state rights issue, will receive a vote in the United States House of Representatives this week, where it is expected to pass.
The real hiccup is expected to occur in the United States Senate, which has been less-favorable to cannabis policy compared to the House.
Two seats in the Senate are still to be decided, both in Georgia, so it’s hard to speculate right now what the chances are of the MORE Act passing in the Senate.
But before that speculation even needs to occur, all eyes will be on the U.S. House this week to see if the bill passes in that particular chamber.