Many of the Senate’s older, conservative members are still resistant to any path to legalization for marijuana. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has mocked the House for action on cannabis and was unmoved even by Republican marijuana champion Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, a member of the chamber’s leadership, who won’t be around next year. Red states including Oklahoma, South Dakota and Mississippi have now legalized some form of pot — but for the foreseeable future, millions of Americans will be consuming a product the federal government still categorizes as a highly dangerous illegal drug with no medical value.
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), for example, remains decidedly anti-weed although his home state made history by legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana on Election Day.
“I have not changed my position on it. I think this is really bad public policy,” Rounds said. He said he does not plan to work on revising federal marijuana laws, even piecemeal legislation like access to banking for cannabis businesses. “I never say I will never do anything, but most certainly I am not going to be a proponent of any type of actions along that line.”