Senator Facing Pro-Marijuana Challenger Supports First Cannabis Bill in 17 Years

With marijuana legalization becoming more popular amongst voters, many formerly anti-cannabis politicians are changing their tune. And it appears that includes a senator from Delaware.

Tom Carper is a Democrat who's served the state of Delaware in the United States Senate for the past 17 years, and he previously served in the U.S. House for 10 years before that. In those 27 years, Carper's co-sponsored exactly zero bills that are pro-marijuana. In fact, Carper's record on marijuana is so bad he even received an "F" grade from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

So it will probably come as a surprise to many that Carper recently added his name to the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, a bill introduced by New York Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that would de-schedule marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and help expunge records of people convicted for cannabis convictions in the past.

But Carper's surprise support for the bill isn't surprising when you learn he's currently in a primary race with Kerri Evelyn Harris, a Democrat who's made marijuana legalization one of the planks of her campaign. So Carper's support is most likely just a way to prevent pro-marijuana voters from supporting Harris during the primary.

It's not entirely clear if Carper needed to make this appeal to pro-marijuana voters, considering a recent poll says 51 percent of Delaware Democrats support him compared to only 19 percent for Harris. But other shocking primary defeats, primarily Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's win in a New York congressional primary, may have put some previously confident Democrats at ease.

So we'll see if Carper's support of the bill means an actual shift in his mindset towards marijuana or if he's simply making sure he wins his primary to go back to earning that F grade.

(h/t Marijuana Moment)


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