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420 with CNW — Biden Welcomes Marijuana Reclassification, Slams ‘Failed Approach’

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has moved to reschedule marijuana as a less-hazardous narcotic, marking the most substantial drug-policy reform in the nation in more than half a century. President Joseph Biden celebrated the move as a crucial step toward correcting historical injustices.

This marks a notable shift for President Biden, who, 30 years ago, was instrumental in crafting stringent crime legislation that is now a source of political contention. This change could bolster Biden’s appeal among younger voters, a demographic crucial for his re-election campaign.

The new proposal, announced on May 16, 2024, stops short of fully legalizing recreational cannabis, which is currently legal in 24 states and DC. Additionally, 38 states have legalized cannabis for medical use.

“Too many lives have been disrupted by our failed marijuana policies,” Biden stated on X. “I’m dedicated to rectifying these historical wrongs,” he added.

The proposal would reclassify cannabis from the restrictive Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to Schedule III. This change would mean that the federal administration no longer categorizes cannabis with highly dangerous and addictive drugs such as LSD, ecstasy and heroin.

Substances listed under Schedule III are considered to have a lower-to-moderate potential for abuse. Examples of such drugs include testosterone, anabolic steroids and ketamine.

Cannabis has remained classified as a Schedule I substance ever since Congress approved the CSA in 1970. Reclassifying it could significantly benefit the legal marijuana sector by improving access to conventional banking services and attracting external investments.

The policy change could also be a major help to Biden’s attempts to mobilize support from minority and young voters, especially amid widespread discontent over issues such as the conflict in Gaza.

Biden wrote the 1994 crime legislation while he was a senator, which is sometimes faulted for mass incarceration for drug charges, especially involving Blacks. In his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden committed to decriminalizing cannabis use, arguing that no one ought to be imprisoned for small amounts’ possession or usage.

However, he has not supported complete legalization. Instead, his administration has issued mass pardons twice for individuals with federal convictions for marijuana possession.

Referencing his prior actions, Biden reaffirmed on X that no one should be jailed just for possessing or using cannabis. He said, “At the moment, cannabis is ranked higher than methamphetamine and fentanyl, the two drugs fueling the U.S.’s overdose crisis. That disparity is incomprehensible.”

The recent proposal being a detailed approval process, starting with a 60-day public comment period before the change can be enacted.

Any step taken to ease the strict marijuana laws at the federal level is likely to be welcomed by the entire industry, such as Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF), as it would be chipping away at decades of prohibition.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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