According to American comedian and actress Sarah Silverman, most Americans disagree over the pronunciation of peanut butter “Jif”, whether hot dogs are sandwiches, and whether professional wrestling should be seen as a sport.
“Fortunately, there is at least one thing that most Americans have in common,” she said on Nov. 9 during an 80-second video to help kickstart the “Cannabis in Common” initiative, a campaign to encourage the American electorate to speak out. support for advancing the federal legalization of cannabis in the United States Congress.
More than two-thirds of Americans agree cannabis should be legalized, Silverman said, but broad reform efforts have not gained momentum in the US Senate. According to a 2021 poll by Quinnipiac University, 69% of Americans support the legalization of cannabis.
In a separate video also released on Tuesday, Canadian actor and comedian Seth Rogen reiterated that the overwhelming majority of Americans support legalization.
“Despite what you may have heard, the Americans can actually agree on something,” he said. “And that something is weed.”
The celebrity duo joined forces to help launch the Cannabis in Common initiative in coordination with the reform organization US Cannabis Council (USCC) and HeadCount’s Cannabis Voter Project.
The initiative’s website allows U.S. citizens to express support for legalization to their elected officials, particularly U.S. senators, through an email portal on the site.
The email to lawmakers on Capitol Hill states:
“I am a cannabis voter and one of your voters.
69% of Americans think cannabis should be legalized for adult use, and 91% of Americans think it should be legalized for medical purposes. We may be divided on many issues, but one thing is clear: the American people have cannabis in common.
What are you doing to end the cannabis ban at the federal level?
I am looking forward to your answer.”
In July, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., And Sen. Cory Booker, DN.J., unveiled a draft federal law on the legalization of cannabis, Cannabis. Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) – they said they plan to officially introduce it later this year.
RELATED: Senate Trio Unveil Federal Cannabis Legalization Bill With Provisions To Deprogram, Tax, and Regulate
The 163-page bill seeks to remove cannabis from the list of controlled substances; tax and regulate cannabis at the federal level; and empowering states to maintain or administer their own surveillance programs.
But the Senate trio have yet to table the final version of the bill, although industry organizations and various stakeholders submitted comments in early September.
RELATED: Industry Organizations Submit Comments on Cannabis Administration and Opportunities Act
When submitting the USCC’s comments, the organization’s CEO Steve Hawkins released a statement suggesting that the Food and Drug Administration should not be the primary regulator of legalization; claim a transition period before interstate commerce; and recommend lower taxes, among other things. In total, the USCC released a 41-page report with its comments.
With the USCC helping to promote Cannabis in Common, Hawkins said in a statement Tuesday that his organization was delighted to launch the “first of its kind” campaign.
“We are creating a platform for sustainable community engagement that will harness the collective power of cannabis consumers and advocates,” he said. “An overwhelming majority of Americans share our point of view. It is time for Congress to catch up.
The campaign puts power back into the hands of citizens by fostering direct civic engagement, said Andy Bernstein, executive director of voter mobilization group HeadCount, which organized the campaign as part of its 3-year-old Cannabis Voter project.
“It has been amazing to see the entire cannabis community rallying around this in a coordinated way,” Bernstein said in the statement.
While the majority of Americans have cannabis in common, politicians don’t, Rogen said in his 90-second video.
“You know who can’t agree on anything?” Rogen asked. “Politicians. So, despite the fact that 69% of us want cannabis to be legal, less than half of [U.S.] the senators voted in favor. In fact, some will not even say where they stand on the issue at all.
“As the Senate prepares to consider a landmark bill that would legalize cannabis federally and erase cannabis convictions from the records of thousands of people, their silences could end up making a difference. “
Rogen went on to say that he thinks elected officials spend most of their time worrying about getting re-elected.
“So when their inboxes and phone lines explode with voters all rallying behind something specific, that’s when things really start to happen,” Rogen said. By visiting cannabisincommon.org, the public can let their elected officials know that “the legalization of cannabis is an extremely popular thing that they should stand up for.”
Campaign supporters include 1906 New Highs, Akerna, Big Island Grown, Binske, CannaCraft, Canopy, Chill Steel Pipes, Cloudious9, Columbia Care, Cresco, Cronos, Curaleaf, Dip Devices, Dr. Dabber, Emerald Cup, GPen, Greenlane , High Times, Holistic Industries Inc, Houseplant, Jushi, Kiva Confections, Last Prisoner Project, Leaflink, Marijuana Policy Project, Moxie, National Cannabis Festival, Native Roots Cannabis Company, NisonCo Cannabis PR & SEO, Oaksterdam, PAX, PharmaCann, Seattle Hempfest , Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Terrapin Care Station, Vicente Sederberg, Wana, Weedmaps and Willow Industries