Despite many states now allowing marijuana recreationally, and many politicians in D.C. on both sides wanting to legalize the plant, President Joe Biden is still opposed to the idea.
This is according to his press secretary, Jen Psaki, who said on Tuesday that the president’s stance on marijuana legalization has no changed.
Asked whether President Biden 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” when it comes to broader reform.
A bill is now being drafted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR).
The three issued the following joint statement regarding comprehensive cannabis reform legislation in the 117th Congress:
“The War on Drugs has been a war on people—particularly people of color. Ending the federal marijuana prohibition is necessary to right the wrongs of this failed war and end decades of harm inflicted on communities of color across the country. But that alone is not enough. As states continue to legalize marijuana, we must also enact measures that will lift up people who were unfairly targeted in the War on Drugs.
“We are committed to working together to put forward and advance comprehensive cannabis reform legislation that will not only turn the page on this sad chapter in American history, but also undo the devastating consequences of these discriminatory policies. The Senate will make consideration of these reforms a priority.
“In the early part of this year, we will release a unified discussion draft on comprehensive reform to ensure restorative justice, protect public health and implement responsible taxes and regulations. Getting input from stakeholder groups will be an important part of developing this critical legislation.”
Whether the president would veto this legalization bill is not known.
Recently the Biden administration’s employment policies with respect to cannabis have been under scrutiny for the firing of several staffers who admitted to prior marijuana use in their background check process.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has said, “Repercussions for cannabis use have always been unequal and those with the most power have always faced the fewest consequences. We ask that you don’t allow that pattern to continue within your administration.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said in a statement to Marijuana Moment that the “federal government has completely screwed up marijuana reform.”
Blumenauer told Marijuana Moment earlier this month, “we still have a very uneven response” to marijuana use in the federal government and he considered the administration’s actions “antiquated” and inconsistent with the state-level reform movement.
Five White House employees have lost their jobs over prior cannabis consumption since Biden took over, Psaki has said.