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Will the Federal Government Legalize Weed Soon?
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Summary: Proponents of legalizing marijuana have been fighting hard in Washington, DC to change federal legislation.

On Wednesday, marijuana advocates swarmed the U.S. Capital for a three-day lobbying tour. The bipartisan proponents stated that they believed that the federal government would eventually come to their side and legalize weed.

  
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“Public opinion is changing on this issue,” said Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida. “Congress is behind. We need to catch up.”

Gaetz is the chief sponsor of the Medical Cannabis Research Act, which researches the medical benefits of marijuana. He spoke at two press conferences about bills that would prevent federal enforcement of anti-marijuana laws and would allow marijuana businesses to have checking accounts and credit cards, like other businesses.

On Wednesday, about 400 people came to the nation’s capital to discuss the legalization of marijuana, according to NJ.com. The hundreds of weed advocates were either members of the National Cannabis Industry Association or Americans for Safe Access, and they met with federal lawmakers, hoping to enact change.

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Noah Mamber, a lawyer, said that lawmakers should act on behalf of their constituents, and he said that people now are comfortable with legalized marijuana.

The lobbying tour was organized by the National Cannabis Industry Association, according to The Guardian. The advocates met with lawmakers from 23 states and the District of Columbia to discuss the legalization of marijuana and its business potential.



“There’s an air of legitimacy around our group that makes me hopeful that the stigma is going to fall away,” Blake Mensing, a cannabis attorney, told The Guardian.

Two studies released earlier this year show that marijuana could be a solution to America’s growing opioid addiction. Although marijuana is federally banned, nine states allow recreational marijuana and 29 states allow medicinal marijuana.

Pew Research released a study in January that stated six in ten Americans support legalized marijuana.

“As in the past, there are wide generational and partisan differences in views of marijuana legalization. Majorities of Millennials (70%), Gen Xers (66%) and Baby Boomers (56%) say the use of marijuana should be legal. Only among the Silent Generation does a greater share oppose (58%) than favor (35%) marijuana legalization,” Pew Research said.

Pew Research said that the majority of Democrats and Independents support legalized marijuana, but only 48% of Republicans are in favor of it. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a staunch opponent of marijuana use, and he has vowed publicly to enforce federal marijuana laws but he backed off after significant public backlash.

Map courtesy of Business Insider.

What do you think about legalized marijuana? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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