Fetterman calls on Biden to decriminalize marijuana

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the state’s Democratic candidate for the US Senate, has added his voice to those calling on President Joe Biden to decriminalize marijuana.

“It’s time to finally decriminalize marijuana,” Fetterman said in a statement Monday. “The president needs to use his executive power to start deprogramming marijuana, I’d love to see him do that before he visits Pittsburgh. This is just common sense, and Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support the decriminalization of marijuana.”

said the lieutenant governor planned to speak to Biden about the issue on Monday, when the president visits Pittsburgh on Labor Day. Fetterman has made weed legalization a key element of his Senate platform.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman stands on stage before speaking at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S., August 12, 2022. (Quinn Glabicki/Reuters)

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about Fetterman’s comments during Monday’s briefing with reporters and said the administration had nothing to announce regarding executive action on marijuana. He noted, however, that Biden had moved on.

“The president supports leaving decisions on recreational legalization to the states, rescheduling cannabis as a Schedule II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative effects, and federally supports decriminalizing its use marijuana and the automatic expungement of any prior criminal records. said Jean-Pierre.

When asked later in the briefing about using executive action to reschedule marijuana — which currently has the same classification as heroin — Jean-Pierre reiterated that the White House had nothing new to announce. When asked if Biden had the authority to reclassify marijuana, Jean-Pierre declined to answer, saying the administration “has made progress on its promises on marijuana” and pointed out that licenses are being issued for companies to grow marijuana for research purposes. .

The White House’s reluctance to make major moves on marijuana policy has been one point, and Biden continues to oppose full legalization. In July, six Democratic senators, including Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., sent the administration a letter urging the administration to increase efforts to reclassify marijuana so it is no longer considered a Schedule I controlled substance.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One in Washington, DC, U.S., Friday, August 26, 2022. (Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One in Washington, DC, U.S., Friday, August 26, 2022. (Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“The administration’s failure to coordinate a timely review of its cannabis policy is harming thousands of Americans, slowing research and depriving Americans of their ability to use marijuana for medical or other purposes,” the senators wrote. “We call on the Biden administration to act quickly to correct this injustice that harms individuals, especially Black and Brown communities.”

The cause of reclassifying marijuana was also important to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who introduced the . Marijuana is currently legal for recreational use in 19 states plus the District of Columbia. With tens of millions of Americans now living in areas where recreational marijuana is legal for adults, the contrast between federal and state laws is becoming increasingly stark as some companies make millions off the drug while other Americans sit in prison for related crimes with cannabis.

Recent polling shows that about two-thirds of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, with a Pew Research survey released in June showing that nearly nine in 10 black Americans support legalization of some kind (57% said the drug should be legal for both medical and recreational use , while 28% said it should only be legal for medical use). Legalization advocates also point to the racial disparity in cannabis-related arrests, as outlined in a 2020 report by the American Civil Liberties Union. For the first time in history, more Americans say they now smoke marijuana than tobacco. Reform advocates hope that Biden — who has seen it in recent weeks — will take action for the people

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *