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During the Democratic primary race for the 2020 nomination for US President, there were months where it appeared that a Democrat in the White House would almost certainly assure the swift implementation of cannabis legalization. With Joe Biden now occupying the Oval Office, though, the question of federal marijuana reform is still up in the air. But that’s not stopping herb-friendly lawmakers from pushing the drug reform goal in the legislature.

Newly minted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, in particular, has been incredibly vocal in his pursuit of cannabis legalization. In early April, Schumer told reporters that the Senate would move forward with a marijuana bill this year, putting pressure on President Biden to either accept the changing times or take responsibility for impeding the process.

“I want to make my arguments to him, as many other advocates will,” Schumer said in an interview with Politico about Biden’s stance on cannabis. “But at some point, we’re going to move forward, period.“

According to the most recent polling data from Gallup, 7 out of 10 American adults support nationwide cannabis legalization. Just a few short decades since the green rush revolution started, backing for marijuana reform now encompasses all political affiliations, age groups, and demographics.

Despite regaining majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives, Democrats are still moving with relative caution regarding legislative action on cannabis. Because of a procedural provision called the filibuster, anti-cannabis legislators are able to hold up a stand-alone legalization bill until it can amass 60 affirmative votes out of the 100 US Senators. And no matter how much support there is for legalization amidst Republican voters, red state lawmakers are still largely dismissed marijuana reform measures with tired rebukes reminiscent of Reefer Madness.

“We’ve got to pick up another 10 votes. Now, the good news is, is that there are Republican bright red states that have legalized marijuana,” Senator Cory Booker, a leading cannabis advocate in the federal legislature, said at a 4/20 event hosted by the ACLU of New Jersey, according to Marijuana Moment. “And that should give us some advantage in trying to cobble together the kind of majority that we need. I’m going to do everything I can to cobble together the 60 votes necessary. Unless of course, we somehow get rid of the filibuster, which would be wonderful.”

Those 10 votes Sen. Booker is looking for could grow to be even more once you consider the number of Democrats who have yet to see the light on cannabis legalization. Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, told Politico that he thought legalization would “cause more problems than it would solve.” Of course, Sen. Tester failed to give any proven examples for his reasoning. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire made her feelings on the subject – however misguided – even more explicit.

“I don’t support legalizing marijuana,” Sen. Shaheen told Politico. “We’re in the middle of an opioid epidemic, and the research that I’ve seen suggests that that is a way that more people get into drugs.”

Without the 60 Senate votes needed to filibuster-proof a legal pot bill, a new strategy to put legalization on President Biden’s desk has emerged. An annual legislative process known as budget reconciliation compiles all of Congress’s budget bills one, filibuster-free vote. Because of its fast-track to ratification, the budget reconciliation process often includes tangential propositions – like cannabis legalization – that might not appear to be budget-related on their surface. If a legalization provision is included in the budget reconciliation process, it would need only 51 votes to pass.

Majority Leader Schumer has not yet noted whether or not he will move to include a cannabis provision in the budget, but legalization advocates have targeted the upcoming debate and vote as a prime opportunity to finally end prohibition.

“Leader Schumer is taking seriously his commitment to see legalization happen at the federal level, and address the ongoing harm from prohibition.” Chris Lindsey, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment. “We have no doubt he is looking at all vehicles that can accomplish reform.”

If a cannabis measure makes it onto the reconciliation docket, it is still unclear if the provision will have the 51 votes needed to pass. But with Sen. Schumer determined to make his legislative colleagues on both sides of the aisle answer to their constituents’ will and at least go public with their unfounded opposition.

“As all procedural possibilities are explored, one thing is certain: far too many U.S. senators believe it to be acceptable to arrest and incarcerate Americans for marijuana possession,” Justin Strekal, political director for NORML, told Marijuana Moment. “Now is the time for each and every supporter of cannabis policy reform to contact their elected officials and make it clear that they will be watching.”