Confidence Interval: Will marijuana be legal across US by 2024? | FiveThirtyEight

FiveThirtyEight’s Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux argues marijuana won’t be nationally legalized in the next four years, despite widespread support.
4:29 | 02/09/21

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Transcript for Confidence Interval: Will marijuana be legal across US by 2024? | FiveThirtyEight
Came Lilja what are we doing today today you're recording another episode of our series confidence and which is where we make the case for a hot hate. And then tell you how confident we are an act. Okay what's your take. Might hate is that marijuana will not be legal throughout the country and at the federal level by the end by. And that might seem like a little bit weird. Because this has been an incredibly successful decade for people who want to see marijuana be alive. Just remember that less than ten years ago marijuana what legal or recreational use anywhere in the country. It's now legal in fifteen states for recreational use and it's legal yet an additional twenty states for medically. So that think huge sea changes and along with it. Legalizing marijuana has become incredibly hot weather so we've seen support for legalizing marijuana rise over the past decade. The vast majority Democrats and independents support at this point can't depending on the whole. UC around 50% support from now on you've been among republic. That's a huge shift from where where you. Add to that the fact that we now have a Democrat in the White House we have a democratic controlled congress. And marijuana reform is something that Democrats say they want to prioritize. In fact house Democrats passed a very large bill last year decriminalizing. There. Of course that bill become law but that might signal that this is something that Democrats are ready to tackle. So. Why don't let me just as intensely its. Well the first thing you decriminalization. And legalization are. One of the big problems for federal reformers right now. Is it marijuana is legal at the state level but you can still be prosecuted at the federal level and go to federal prison. For possessing and Sally Mayer. That's a big problem for people who work for example run marijuana businesses in the state teacher pat that legal liability. Looming here at old. Hundreds couldn't get rid of that legal ability and either significantly reduced the penalties for marijuana or get pretty tired we. But that's not the same evening as their alignment and becoming legal. Everywhere across the country. Or the federal government regulating. Airline the way without back. You have to remember it just because a ground happen Republicans are in support of lethal one. That doesn't mean that Republicans in congress are on board. Oh how confident. It's and that has even though of course it's possible political winds will shift at some point in the next or years. It's just one priority among nanny for Democrats rate. And because marijuana reform is complicated. And it might be hard to get Republicans on ordered. I suspect that Democrats are going to have more success. Passing piecemeal marijuana reform bills lake something that would make it easier for marijuana businesses. To access banking services. Which they currently do in many places rate. So while I think it's totally possible we will support states legalized marijuana. Eager for recreational. Or medical use. And we could see some smaller bills trying to fuel with. Different federal marijuana reform issues passed in congress. I just don't think this is a slam dunk issue with Republicans by any means into that Democrats are coming in with its. Huge range of issues they want to address including the global pandemic and the economic crisis stemming from the pandemic. I just don't see at the marijuana reform bill necessary we being a top priority in the next few years. Much less taxing.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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