House expected to pass marijuana legalization bill this week
Senate Democrat leadership is looking to bring a mirror bill to the floor later this spring.
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The Democrat-controlled House is expected this week to pass legislation that will legalize marijuana.
The initiative has close to full support from House Democrats and a powerful friend in Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer, who is hoping to introduce a Senate version of the bill this spring.
Oregon Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer, co-chairman of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said that this Congress in particular, "represents a sea change" in the way that the legislative body deals with federally illegal substances.
"What we have seen is that the majority of people now realize that the war on drugs failed. Drugs are more accessible and cheaper and more potent and dangerous. Nobody won this war, except people who were involved with the drug dealers themselves," Blumenauer recently told The Hill.
Last week, the Senate unanimously passed a bill to expand the research being done on marijuana and its byproducts.
The shifting congressional view of marijuana has mirrored public opinion insofar as 91% of adults in the U.S. believe that marijuana should be, at least to some degree, legal.
Medical use of cannabis products are allowed by at least 37 states, four territories and the District of Columbia – 18 states allow its use recreationally.