Both a Democrat and Republican are taking a beating on why weed is still illegal.
A funny thing happened on the way to blaming Emperor McConnell for blocking cannabis legalization, the Twitterverse is just as upset at Senator Booker, co-sponsor of one of the marijuana legalization bills in Congress. Our tweet of the story about Booker blasting McConnell over the lack of legalization was met with anger from anti-Booker twitter accounts.
Why is a Democrat who is sponsoring a legalization bill getting the big raspberry on Twitter for not getting cannabis legalized at this point?
For those not in the cannabis industry and following every turn and twist, let me summarize it for you in a nutshell. The general belief is that the Democrats and Republicans could have an agreement on Federal legalization, but Booker and other Democrats will not pass any legalization bill that does not include a strong social justice and economic empowerment clause. Our sources in DC say that Republicans are on board with legalization, but social equity and economic empowerment clauses is a non-starter for them, and it won’t get done if those clauses are included in the bill.
Senator Booker refuses to agree to any bill that does not include social equity and economic empowerment clauses as he doesn’t want the marijuana industry to be just a “bunch of rich white guys and powerful corporations”, while I paraphrase, that is the jist of it.
Do you win the war and loose the battle? Do you make sure you win the battle and worry about the war down the road?
I think the smarter play would have been to accept the deal and win the war first, then go back at the state level and implement commonsense social equity and economic empowerment rules. The current system of social justice if failing miserably in many states and handing out “Willy Wonka Licenses” to people without funding or the business knowledge necessary to run a business is leading to many SE and EE applicants to be left high and dry out in the cannabis world.
While I do not agree with Booker’s strategy, I can understand it.
Let me repeat that.
I do not agree with Booker’s decision to basically block legalization without social equity and economic empowerment clauses, I do understand why he is doing it and what it means to him.
Of course, in full disclosure, I am rich white guy, so I am okay with the “let’s legalize it and worry about the details later”, where as Booker would tell me, “Exactly, you are fine with it but the SE and EE applicants harmed by the War on Drugs would be forgotten about and left behind”.
One thing to remember that most industry experts agree on is that any full legalization plan that includes interstate commerce will be a death sentence for many of the businesses and licenses given out to SE and EE applicants. The massive margin compression and price drops that would come with full state to state commerce would crush margins on all cannabis businesses as presently constituted and destroy the artificial barriers that protect SE and EE licenses and applicants.
So, while Booker wants those businesses protected, in reality, in the course of finding an efficient market, those business will be decimated either way with federal legalization. I didn’t support the Republican view on legalization because I was a rich, white guy, I supported “winning the war, get legalization first” because of what was going to happen anyway to SE and EE businesses when interstate commerce kicked in.
Twitter has accused Booker of being a pawn for Big Pharma, protecting his girlfriend’s cannabis business, and a variety of conspiracy theory ideas on why Booker is a wolf in sheep’s clothing on this issue.
While Cannabis.net has always said weed will be legal in America when Mitch McConnell and his 8 friends say so, there is growing frustration with Senator Booker and the Democrats for blowing their majority in the 3 houses of government and pushing for a deal that was “a bit too liberal” for Republicans’ liking.
Should Booker have looked to win the war and lose the battle, or held firm on his promise to SE and EE applicants under a federal law agreement?
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— CannabisNet (@cannabis_net) December 19, 2022