This week, the House passed the MORE Act — a historic vote to remove cannabis from the list of federally criminalized substances and let states make their own rules about the plant.

In OtherWords, Paul Armentano calls this a welcome and long overdue step toward ending the federal prohibition on cannabis. But he laments the partisanship of the vote, with nearly every House Republican voting against it — even as red state voters are increasingly voting to support legalization. The next step, he argues, is for Biden to appoint an attorney general who will respect state decisions to legalize.

Marijuana prohibition is just one part of the war on drugs that’s locked millions of Americans behind bars on low-level offenses over the years. This week, Robert P. Alvarez notes that this number is finally going down overall — but not for women. Fixing that should be a major priority for the next administration, he argues.

Also this week, Jill Richardson argues that failing students need support, not blame — especially in a pandemic. And Jim Hightower says we should use the holidays to embrace a new food future.

New This Week…

Get the Feds Out of the Way of Cannabis Reform | Paul Armentano
The House just took a huge step toward repealing the marijuana prohibition. What’s next?

Mass Incarceration Is Declining — But Not for Women | Robert P. Alvarez
The next administration needs to address this crisis and the war on drugs driving it.

Failing Students Need Support, Not Blame | Jill Richardson
Students don’t fail because they are lazy. They fail because something is wrong in their lives — and right now, so much is wrong.

This Holiday Season, Choose a New Food Future | Jim Hightower
What better symbol of agri-industry’s vision of “food” than the ubiquitous Butterball turkey so many ate for Thanksgiving?

Looking for That Get Out of Jail Free Card | Khalil Bendib
Defeated Donald Trump and embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ponder their next moves.

In Case You Missed It…

We Need an Essential Workers Bill of Rights | Janie Grice
Walmart’s owners are seeing their wealth surge while my former coworkers there go without hazard pay. That has to change.

Make USDA ‘The People’s Department’ Again | Jim Hightower, Jane Kleeb, and Deborah Parker
For years, the Department of Agriculture has been run by Big Ag acolytes. Biden has a chance to change that.

Paying Politicians to Criminalize Protest | Basav Sen
More communities are standing up to pipelines. The fossil fuel industry wants to make that a felony.

Biden Could Cancel Student Debt. Will He? | Sarah Anderson and Margot Rathke
The federal government owns 92 percent of all student debt owed in this country. Canceling it could provide a huge stimulus.


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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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