In a previous article, we discussed the STATES Act and how it might be a path towards federal Cannabis legalization in the United States. Today we want to follow up that article with a bit of news that some of you may or may not have heard. The bill was originally introduced in the US Senate in June, 2018, by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Recently, Elizabeth Warren announced that she has formed an exploratory committee towards running for the US presidency.
What does an exploratory committee mean?
For those not familiar with the presidential election process in the US, the formation of an exploratory committee is the first step towards a presidential bid. Essentially, an exploratory committee allows a potential candidate to “test the waters” and transition their financials in preparation for a bid.
Under the rules of an exploratory committee, a potential nominee can use an exploratory committee to raise money over $5000 without needing to disclose their financial backers. Once a potential nominee has transitioned to a full-fledged nominee (no longer exploratory), they are required to disclose all financial sources.
Now some of you might wonder: “If it’s exploratory, why is this big news?”
Great question. The answer is that most politicians would never bother making an exploratory committee if they weren’t serious about the prospect in the first place. It’s very likely that anybody who has begun this process has consulted with numerous political experts and consultants prior to this announcement, and believes they may have a chance at winning the popular vote. The exploratory committee is really to see if the candidate would have enough financial support to make their bid successful. If a candidate can raise a healthy amount of money in the exploratory committee phase, it is extremely likely they will formally announce that they are running for the office.
Ok, so what’s special about Elizabeth Warren?
Growers Network is all about Cannabis. So why is Elizabeth Warren a big deal?
Elizabeth Warren, along with Cory Gardner, introduced the STATES Act to the Senate. The STATES Act would functionally provide a route towards Cannabis legalization in the United States. Because Elizabeth Warren was one of the people who introduced the bill, she has a vested interest in seeing it succeed. Many political organizations often grade politicians based on how many of their introduced bills pass, which encourages politicians to write bills they believe in and believe will pass.
Because of this, regardless of whether or not Elizabeth Warren makes it to the presidency, it is very likely she will make Cannabis legalization part of her campaign platform. This will bring the issue to the forefront of the political discussion, and may even help her in her election run. If she does make it to the presidency in 2020, then she can use political capital to push the issue even further. Presidents can exert very strong pressure on Congress.
Elizabeth Warren’s Likely Platform
Based on her announcement video, there are a few things we can clearly deduce being the basis of her platform:
- An emphasis on improving conditions for the poor and middle class.
- An emphasis on improving conditions for racial/ethnic minorities.
- She wants to improve the healthcare system.
- She wants to stop corruption.
- She wants to protect the environment.
There are also a few things implied in her video, even if not explicitly stated:
- She is for gun control.
- She is pro LGBTQ.
- She has a populist ideology and strongly supports the 1st amendment.
- She criticizes Fox News and certain politicians and pundits who are shown in her video.
Also, we already know a few things based on her behavior as a senator:
- As long as she’s been a politician, she has been a Democrat.
- She has voted for members of both parties, often emphasizing that she believes neither party should dominate.
- She was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a government agency with the goal of preventing anti-consumer practices by large corporations. She played a major role in the passage of Dodd-Frank, which established the CFPB.
- She has a history of progressive and populist politics, often targeting Wall Street financiers and bankers who played a role in the 2007-2008 economic crisis.
- She will likely run on her background as a law school professor who extensively studied topics such as bankruptcy, economics, and commercial law.
That’s about it for our update. While we will never tell you whom to vote for, we will point out politicians who go the extra mile when it comes to Cannabis. And this politician is worth keeping an eye on!
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About the Author
Hunter Wilson is a community builder with Growers Network. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2011 with a Masters in Teaching and in 2007 with a Bachelors in Biology.