Biden’s Opposition To Marijuana Legalization ‘Has Not Changed,’ Press Secretary Says

MJ moment

President Joe Biden’s stance on marijuana legalization “has not changed,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday. Asked whether the president supports efforts by Democratic senators to end federal cannabis prohibition, Psaki said Biden “spoke about this on the campaign” and that he “believes in decriminalizing the use of marijuana, but his position has not changed” on broader reform. She seems to be indirectly saying that Biden wouldn’t support the bill being drafted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). While the text of that legislation hasn’t been released, the expectation is that it will, at a minimum, federally deschedule marijuana. Biden, meanwhile, backs modestly rescheduling the plant, decriminalizing possession, legalizing medical cannabis, expunging prior marijuana records and letting states set their own policies. Whether the president would veto a legalization bill if it arrived on his desk is another question. Psaki’s latest comments come amid ongoing scrutiny of the administration’s employment policies with respect to cannabis. A growing number of Democratic and Republican lawmakers have criticized the Biden administration’s decision to fire or otherwise punish dozens of staffers who admitted to prior marijuana use as part of their background check process. A coalition of 30 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to Biden last week that asks for clarification on the employment policy and urges that prior cannabis consumption no longer be used as a justification to disqualify people from serving in the federal government—especially since Vice President Kamala Harris and at least one one other Cabinet member are on record about their own marijuana use experiences. “Those in the upper ranks of your administration won’t face consequences for their cannabis use, and nor should they, but the same standard should be applied across the administration,” the letter,…

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