Smoke ‘em If You Got ‘em

President Handsome Joe Biden
(undated file photo)

President Joe Biden gives us an October Surprise:

As I often said during my campaign for President, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana.  Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit. Criminal records for marijuana possession have also imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities.  And while white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.

Today, I am announcing three steps that I am taking to end this failed approach.

First, I am announcing a pardon of all prior Federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana.  I have directed the Attorney General to develop an administrative process for the issuance of certificates of pardon to eligible individuals.  There are thousands of people who have prior Federal convictions for marijuana possession, who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result.  My action will help relieve the collateral consequences arising from these convictions.

Second, I am urging all Governors to do the same with regard to state offenses.  Just as no one should be in a Federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either.

Third, I am asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to initiate the administrative process to review expeditiously how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.  Federal law currently classifies marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the classification meant for the most dangerous substances.  This is the same schedule as for heroin and LSD, and even higher than the classification of fentanyl and methamphetamine – the drugs that are driving our overdose epidemic.

Finally, even as federal and state regulation of marijuana changes, important limitations on trafficking, marketing, and under-age sales should stay in place.

Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana.  It’s time that we right these wrongs.

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6 Responses to Smoke ‘em If You Got ‘em

  1. ali redford says:

    What he says makes sense. I’m certain it’s going to take time to get done, and it’ll help the ones that it helps. It’s a positive step forward for whatever it’s worth.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. chrisanthemama says:

    Sign it at 4:20 and hand the pen to Willie Nelson.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Did not know that it was listed as a Schedule 1, along with sinister drugs.
    You wouldn’t know if I was “high”/just smoked a fatty but, you sure as hell could tell if I were drunk/had 1 drink. My point here is that even beer is far worse an “intoxIcan’t” than weed could ever try to be.
    Big kudos to a Good Joe for recognizing this and even bigger kudos for his going beyond the banned teaching of systemic racism and just doing something about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jimmy T says:

    I live in a pot legalized state (Oregon). Now I’m thinking I should get high just to celebrate the release of so many fellow (fellowesses) users…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I got drunk once as a teen and hated it. Never touched alcohol again. Also, never smoked weed, or used any other drug. It isn’t for me, but even I can see the real damage of responsible use of drugs is the stigma of their illegality and the lifelong scarlet letter associated with prosecution for simply having a bit with you. It’s ridiculous and it’s high time this change was codified.

    Great that it’s happening, and a sad statement about our society that it’s considered a “brave” move.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If I had been high when I heard this, I would been trying to cartwheel and dance out on Central Street!


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