A key congressional leader on cannabis issues, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), is urging the Biden administration to take action on federal marijuana scheduling without delay, before the upcoming election. During a fireside chat hosted by the International Cannabis Bar Association (INCBA), Lee expressed cautious optimism about passing limited banking reform in Congress, but acknowledged the complications posed by Republican control of the House.
Lee, who serves as the co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, discussed various marijuana developments during the event. While tempering short-term expectations, she emphasized the need to establish a permanent path for cannabis reform, acknowledging the uncertainty in the current Congress.
Given the composition of Congress, Lee expressed doubt about passing meaningful cannabis reform at the moment, stating that it would have been more feasible when Democrats held the majority last year. However, she stressed the importance of finding a pathway for reform and suggested that an executive order from President Joe Biden could be a potential solution. Biden had previously ordered an administrative review of marijuana scheduling, which is currently underway.
Lee commended Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for initiating the review but emphasized the need for faster progress. With the upcoming election year looming, she voiced concerns about further delays and the potential for shifting political dynamics. Urging swift action, Lee called on the administration to address the issue promptly to avoid complications down the line.
As discussions surrounding cannabis reform continue, the push for federal action on marijuana scheduling gains momentum. Representative Lee’s advocacy highlights the urgency felt by proponents of cannabis reform, emphasizing the need for timely and meaningful changes in federal policies.