In pop-culture vocabulary, Canada's decision to legalize the use, possession, and sale of marijuana translates to this: It's 4:20.

And it's time for the Democratic Party to wake up, unless it wants to risk losing the U.S. weed lobby to President Trump, says Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat who's introducing a bill that would drop using or selling cannabis from the list of activities that disqualify foreigners from entering the U.S.

"Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis," Blumenauer said in a memo to the party's leadership in the House of Representatives. "We have an opportunity to correct course if Democrats win big in November."

The move comes with national support for legalizing cannabis — which critics have long decried as a gateway to abuse of harder drugs like cocaine and heroin — at an all-time high.

A mid-spring poll by the liberal Center for American Progress showed 68 percent of U.S. residents support legalization, roughly four points higher than a survey by Gallup in October 2017. Gallup first measured public opinion on the matter in 1969, when only 12 percent of participants supported legalization.

More than 40 states, along with U.S. territories, Native American tribes and Washington, D.C., have passed laws permitting or decriminalizing marijuana or marijuana-based products. If Democrats don't act swiftly, Blumenauer said, Trump may decide it's a winning issue with younger voters and try to take credit for work by his rivals during his 2020 campaign.

[Related: Canada legalized marijuana, now Congress must ensure Canadians don't face trouble at the border]

To prevent that, Blumenauer suggests a Democrat-controlled House hold hearings in its judiciary, energy, and financial services committees from January through March, then begin marking up bills that would start to narrow the policy gap between the federal government, states, and Canada.

Those should include giving military veterans access to cannabis treatments for pain and post-traumatic stress, giving marijuana producers access to banking services, and removing barriers to marijuana research, he said.

The bill that Blumenauer introduced Wednesday, which would apply to residents of countries where marijuana use and sale is already legal, would be another move forward.

"As of today, our ally to the north is outpacing us," Blumenauer said. "In the short term, Congress must address the policy gap created by conflicting cannabis laws. But this chaos must end, and the only way to do that is to end marijuana prohibition once and for all.”

A Democratic majority in the House could force the issue, he said, and pave the way for a federal law legalizing cannabis by the end of next year, even if Republicans keep control of the Senate.

Support already crosses party lines, he noted, with the Congressional Cannabis Caucus that Blumenauer helped form also including Republican Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Don Young as well as Democrat Jared Polis.

The issue remains divisive in some quarters, however. Although Trump himself has said he would probably support a Senate proposal letting states set their own marijuana laws, his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, rescinded Obama-era policies that allowed them a freer hand in doing so.

Sessions described his decision as a "return to the rule of law," that he said earlier guidance had undermined. The Senate bill, introduced by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, would reverse Sessions' decision, though it doesn't go so far as to legalize marijuana.

"The federal government is closing its eyes and plugging its ears," Gardner said when introducing the bill and his "common-sense" proposal would make sure that the federal government respects "the will of the voters — whether that is legalization or prohibition — and not interfere in any state's legal marijuana industry."

Blumenauer's support for the Senate bill along with a range of narrower marijuana proposals acknowledges the risk that neither Republicans nor Democrats would be willing to support marijuana legalization in the run-up to 2020's presidential election, said Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with Cowen Washington Research Group, which has tracked federal policy for the past four decades.

That Blumenauer already has a plan is more meaningful, in fact, than its actual content, said Seiberg, since the window for any Congress to act is fairly small. A narrower approach is more likely to succeed "because Congress as a whole still seems unwilling to go on the record to legalize cannabis for fear of a political backlash," he added.

The drug has been outlawed in the U.S. since the 1930s, when Congress limited use to people who obtained it for medical purposes and paid a tax when purchasing the drug. Lawmakers added mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana offenses in the 1950s, then repealed them in the 1970s, though cannabis remained illegal and the federal government deemed it both unsafe and likely to be abused.