Earlier this week, the Biden Administration announced that individuals who would like to intern at the White House would be required to disclose any previous drug use. This is despite repeated requests to stop penalizing employees who admit to past use of cannabis.
A new White House Internship program FAQ states that applicants going through the hiring process will be required to fill out a security clearance form. The data collected by this form may affect the eligibility of the candidates, especially if it includes information on past consumption of marijuana, even if it was legal under state law.
In the early days of this administration, the Biden White House was criticized over reports that staffers were being penalized or terminated on the basis of past cannabis use. President Biden has been against marijuana’s legalization for some time now, with a former White House press secretary reiterating that the president hadn’t changed his stance on maintaining federal prohibition soon after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his colleagues introduced a draft bill to legalize cannabis in 2021.
However, while campaigning in 2020, Biden ran on a pledge to enact reforms such as the expungement of previous records, the decriminalization of marijuana possession and respecting the rights of states to enact their own laws.
Since the president assumed office, the administration has made no strides to enact any of these changes, instead choosing to fire its staffers over cannabis and extending a provision that prevented D.C. from legalizing the sale of marijuana.
Results from a poll released earlier in January show that more than one-half of Americans feel that the president has made little progress on his pledge to decriminalize cannabis in his first year in office, with most individuals expecting that little will be done to advance reform as his term continues. The president has received numerous letters from advocates, legislators, celebrities and individuals affected by criminalization, calling on him to do something about the individuals who are still behind bars over marijuana.
While Biden has granted clemency to some individuals with nonviolent federal drug convictions on their records, not much else has been done. This is despite findings from a report by the Congressional Research Service showing that Biden has the power to grant mass pardons for marijuana offenses.
For her part, Vice President Kamala Harris stated in 2021 that the administration wasn’t focused on making progress on its cannabis reform pledges because it was overburdened with other issues.
It is this inaction at the highest level of government that is holding back the marijuana industry and entities such as Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS) from growing their footprint across the country as quickly as they would desire.
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