Week 3 — The Future: Building Momentum for Nationwide Legalization

Apr 16, 2024

Federal, legalization

Week 3 — The Future: Building Momentum for Nationwide Legalization




This April, we’re doing a deep dive on the past, present, and future of cannabis policy. Check out our recent posts highlighting some of the major historical milestones in cannabis policy reform and the current landscape of cannabis policy in the United States

Across the United States, the landscape of cannabis legalization is rapidly changing. Legalization works, and that’s why 9 out of 10 Americans now agree that cannabis should be legal for medical or adult-use. With this growing support, the question isn't if – but when – the nation will see legalization on the federal level.

Even President Biden has acknowledged the failed approach of federal cannabis prohibition, and his recent actions to issue a mass pardon proclamation and launch a clemency certificate application process show that the momentum is building for comprehensive federal reform.

MPP has an ambitious plan to legalize adult-use cannabis in several more states and bring our movement to a tipping point where we will finally have the necessary coalition to push through comprehensive federal legalization. Reaching 31 legalization states means that a filibuster-proof 62 Senators, a majority of House Republicans, and 84% of House Democrats would be representing constituencies with robust legal cannabis markets. With this level of Congressional support, ending federal cannabis prohibition will be within our grasp.

Making progress in the states is crucial because 99% of the hundreds of thousands of cannabis possession arrests that occur every year happen at the state and local level. Millions of people are still living in states without adult-use legalization laws, and over 40,000 individuals remain behind bars for cannabis-related charges.

To date, 24 states and D.C. have legalized adult-use cannabis. These successful state-run programs provide valuable data on regulation, taxation, and social impacts, proving legalization can be implemented effectively. 

While the vast majority of states have reformed cannabis laws, the federal government lags behind. The continuation of federal cannabis prohibition stands in the way of all of the state policy victories we've achieved over the past decade. With the tide of public opinion shifting and the success of state-level legalization, advocates are working towards federal legalization.

Voice your support for federal legalization to your congressional members.Let them know you stand with the majority of Americans who favor a legal cannabis market.

The future of cannabis in America is bright. With continued public support and ongoing advocacy efforts, nationwide legalization is on the horizon. By working together, we can create a safe, regulated cannabis market that benefits all Americans. It’s on us to seize this opportunity and demand that Congress heed the voice of the American people and end the war on cannabis. 

With continued public support and a willingness to address the remaining challenges, the United States will finally see a more sensible and sustainable approach to cannabis policy.