top of page

Will Congress pass marijuana reform? D.C. insiders have thoughts

OG Article: here 

View our Fair Use Policy: here

With whispers of rescheduling and cannabis banking making waves across the country, many people predict real progress in the coming months. However, a recent poll of Washington insiders may burst the bubble.

Punchbowl News asked legislative staff whether they believed Congress would pass substantial marijuana reform before the end of the term next year. Approximately 71 percent of respondents said it was “unlikely.” Since these are the people who do the lion’s share of work for lawmakers, their insights are likely closer to fact than speculation.

The media outlet asked K Street lobbyists the same question, but their responses were a bit more uncertain. About 59 percent thought marijuana reform was likely, while 23 percent said they didn’t know. Only ten percent of Capitol Hill staffers said they were unsure on the topic.

Employees of Republican lawmakers were more pessimistic about cannabis than their Democratic counterparts. Roughly 83 percent of GOP staffers said reform was unlikely, compared to 59 percent of Democrats. Around 29 percent of Democrats polled thought cannabis reform was likely; only nine percent of Republicans felt the same way.

The partisan divide was less stark among lobbyists. In fact, 21 percent of GOP lobbyists said that marijuana reform was likely compared to only 16 percent of Democrats. Considering the majority of these political power brokers were hesitant to chime in on the subject, the contrast between their opinions and those of actual legislative staff adds up.

The poll did not address the recommendation to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III. This decision is ultimately in the hands of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), not Congress. Washington insiders are more optimistic about the change, believing the DEA will indeed reschedule cannabis in the lead-up to the 2024 presidential election.

With the majority of states having approved some type of cannabis reform, the call for federal marijuana legalization is getting louder by the day. Despite the pessimism by Congressional staffers, it appears that some type of change is coming soon.



#1 Daily
Cannabis News Show

"High at 9

broadcast was 🤩."


Rama Mayo
President of Green Street's Mom

bottom of page