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Marijuana legalization advocate: 'This could be a priority for Congress'

Cornbread Hemp co-founder Jim Higdon said Thursday that while there are steps President BidenJoe BidenFour members of Sikh community among victims in Indianapolis shooting Overnight Health: NIH reverses Trump's ban on fetal tissue research | Biden investing .7B to fight virus variants | CDC panel to meet again Friday on J&J On The Money: Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats | Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes MORE can take to advance cannabis legalization unilaterally, there appears to be substantial support in Congress, as well.

Discussing state-by-state efforts in a Hill.TV interview Thursday, Higdon said Kentucky was “bound to be on the rump end” of legalization, explaining that because the state does not have ballot referenda, “the polling is very far ahead of where the politicians are, so we’re slow to move, slow to act.”

The separate legalization of hemp in the state, he said, served as a major catalyst toward winning the support of the state’s congressional delegation for hemp legalization, particularly Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPew poll: 50 percent approve of Democrats in Congress Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Progressives put Democrats on defense MORE (R-Ky.).

Asked about the state of play at the federal level, and particularly what action Biden could take unilaterally, Higdon said that under the terms of the Controlled Substances Act, “it appears as if the president, though the attorney general, can remove any drug from the controlled substances list if the attorney general decides to.”

He noted that while the Obama administration never took any such action, “it seems like it’s on the books that it could be done that way.”

“The good news is we might not have to see if the Biden administration will go that route,” he added. “There seems to be some significant work being done in Congress, especially on the Senate side, that looks like this could be a priority this Congress.”