Don’t Hold Your Breath for Federal Cannabis Legalization

Earlier this month, Vermont became the most recent state to legalize recreational cannabis. In the 2020 elections, cannabis legalization initiatives will appear on the ballots in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota (we’ll be doing a weekly series on these states each Sunday leading up to the election, and you can read about Arizona, Mississippi, Montana in those links). To date, the vast majority of U.S. states have legalized cannabis in one form or another.

While states have been increasingly willing to legalize cannabis, the federal government has dropped the ball. Over the last few years, Congress has made many efforts to legalize cannabis or at least provide some benefits to the industry, but nothing has materialized. Most recently, the House of Representatives kicked the can further down the road on the MORE Act by delaying a floor vote that ultimately would have been pretty meaningless anyway if the law had made it to the Republican-controlled Senate.

While it’s clear that Congress can’t seem to get its act together, many had hoped that the U.S. Supreme Court would hear Washington v. Barr, a case in which petitioners sought to have the Court declare certain provisions of the

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