Headline RoundupApril 20th, 2022

4/20: Will the Senate Decriminalize Recreational Marijuana Nationwide?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

In April 2021, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged to “move forward” on loosening federal restrictions on marijuana. Will the Senate legalize weed nationwide in 2022?

According to a March CBS News/YouGov poll, 66% of Americans — including in states where it is still criminalized — want recreational marijuana legalized both in their state and under federal law. While the House of Representatives passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana on April 1, House marijuana bills are nothing new; the real roadblock to decriminalization is the Senate, where a 50-50 party split and the filibuster make legislation impossible without at least 10 Republican votes. 

Support for marijuana legalization in Congress falls sharply on partisan lines; only 3 House Republicans joined over 200 Democrats on the April 1 bill. On April 5, Schumer said he and his colleagues were reaching out to Senate Republicans “to see what they want” in a marijuana bill. However, several prominent Republicans like Sen. Marco Rubio have reasserted their opposition to legalization. 

Coverage of marijuana issues was widespread across the spectrum, but only some outlets like Vice (Left bias) published more than one article on the topic. Several articles focused on New Jersey’s marijuana legalization law, which goes into effect Thursday. While most coverage across the spectrum focused on the popularity of legalization, some coverage from the right tied marijuana to drug cartels.

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