With a majority in the House of Representatives, the Democrats can now focus on things that will empower the younger generation, such as legalizing marijuana.
The United States midterm elections brought change by installing the Democrats at the helm of the House of Representatives, and by giving the Republicans an even bigger majority in the Senate.
Newly-elected Representatives for the House of Representatives have been sworn in for over a week now, and they aren’t disappointing.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer has filed one of the first bills of the 116th Congress yesterday. The bill would regulate marijuana comparable to how alcohol is regulated at the moment.
Rep. Blumenauer has been a part of the 115th Congress as well, in which the same bill was introduced yet failed to pass any significant committees.
A change in scenery
However, that might change during the course of this Congress, as several of the key members which were blocking marijuana bills have lost their seats in the House.
One of them was Pete Sessions, a former representative from the 32nd district in Texas lost his seat to the progressive Democrat and ex-NFL player Colin Allred.
Rep. Allred is much more likely to vote “yay” on marijuana issues and is currently not in the position to block any of the votes in the committees.
Another former House representative, Bob Goodlatte parted ways with his seat in the House. Goodlatte was also a staunch opponent of legalization and even medical cannabis for veterans.
Lastly, one of the younger representatives in the newly elected Congress, Joe Kennedy III has seen a fair share of controversy regarding his stance on marijuana.
At first, Rep. Kennedy was strongly opposed to legalizing marijuana but then switched to a more pro-legalization position after taking a lot of heat from his party.
He cited the failures of the resulting federal prohibition as one of the main reasons for switching towards a more progressive stance.
Spirit sales up, beer sales down
In states which legalized recreational marijuana, alcohol hasn’t been doing as bad as one might have thought.
At first, there were assumptions that the sales of alcoholic beverages might take a big hit once cannabis is legalized for recreational use.
According to the Distilled Spirits Council, which did a study on the states that legalized recreational cannabis, the overall industry trends remain consistent.
In Washington, Oregon and Colorado, spirit sales increased but the sales of wine and beer stayed on their mixed or negative course.
Brewers and beverage producers have seen the trend of flavored drinks and tobacco popularity generally going down for quite a while now.
That is why some of the biggest companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev, Coca Cola, Pepsico, Constellation Brands, Molson Coors and many others are looking into the possibility of expanding into the cannabis sector.
Several of these industry leaders have already made investments in the sector and even created joint ventures with Canadian cannabis producers.
The bill Rep. Blumenauer introduced is called H.R. 420, or “Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act” and you can read the full text below.