Editor’s Note: This is an opinion guest post.
In my last post, I promised a whole other can of worms on how impeachment will impact cannabis and I am a woman of my word. As I stated before, once the trial begins in the Senate, all Senators must be in their seats for the duration of the trial to hear the entirety of the case. This means that several the pro-cannabis Democratic candidates are going to be sitting on the sidelines for the earliest races in the primary calendar which often decides who is going to be the presidential nominee.
Four of the remaining candidates and a few frontrunners, Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, and Amy Klobuchar, will not be able to campaign and participate in the Iowa Caucus or the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries because they will be sitting in their seats listening to arguments on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
While all those races could be cause for concern, we truly need to just look at Iowa to determine the possible fate of cannabis. Iowa has been a strong indicator of who will be the Democratic nominee and it will be impacted by the upcoming hearing. The latest Real Clear Politics poll has the race neck and neck between former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
If Senators Warren and Sanders are unable to campaign in Iowa then that leaves the door open for Biden and Buttigieg to pick up the momentum they need for the win. Buttigieg had not said much on the cannabis issue, which I’m sure is tactical given his hopes of winning over more conservative voters in the Midwest. Time will tell with his campaign.
Meanwhile, Biden is by far the worst possible nominee for the cannabis movement. He has been a staunch opponent to legalization for years and helped to create the Office of National Drug Control Policy and drafted the legislation, The Violent Crime Control, and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which has led to massive numbers of incarcerations, not to mention that the term “gateway drug” is still in his vocabulary.
According to polling site FiveThirtyEight, Biden will take Iowa and if that’s the case, then that’s the federal ballgame for cannabis – if Biden beats Trump. If Trump comes back around for another term, that’s a whole case of worms for cannabis.