Why the next Congress is unlikely to legalize marijuana

On Election Day, two staunchly conservative states legalized recreational marijuana. A third of Americans now live in a state where weed is legal for adult use. Fresh Gallup polling says 68 percent of the country favors having legal access to marijuana.

But the Senate operates under a different reality.

Many of the Senate’s older, conservative members are still resistant to any path to legalization for marijuana. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has mocked the House for action on cannabis and was unmoved even by Republican marijuana champion Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, a member of the chamber’s leadership, who won’t be around next year. Red states including Oklahoma, South Dakota and Mississippi have now legalized some form of pot — but for the foreseeable future, millions of Americans will be consuming a product the federal government still categorizes as a highly dangerous illegal drug with no medical value.

“I have not changed my position on it. I think this is really bad public policy,” Rounds said. [Read more at Politico]

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