President Joseph Biden has stood by most of the infrastructure promises he made during his campaign in 2020, passing a massive infrastructure bill a few months after he took office that would invest billions of dollars into building American infrastructure. However, infrastructure wasn’t the only thing Biden talked about during his campaigns. The president also ran his campaign platform on cannabis reform, stating that although he wasn’t a fan of full legalization, he supported medical cannabis and the rights of states to determine their own cannabis laws.
However, nearly two years after Biden assumed office, his administration still hasn’t acted on the bulk of cannabis promises he made during his campaign. Over the past year, stakeholders in the cannabis industry, lawmakers and reform activists have grown increasingly irritated at the administration’s inaction, with a group of senators recently calling on Biden to issue a blanket pardon for people with low-level cannabis offenses.
During a recent briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that even though Biden has expressed support for modest cannabis reform, his administration does not have “anything to announce” regarding whether the president will fulfill his campaign marijuana promises. The press secretary was responding to a remark about a statement from Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who called on Biden to fulfill his promise to decriminalize cannabis.
A representative from the lieutenant governor had said that Fetterman looks forward to discussing the need for marijuana decriminalization with Biden at the upcoming Labor Day Parade in Pittsburgh. Although the press secretary didn’t respond directly to Fetterman’s comment about the need to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level, she said that the president is committed to issuing “evidence-based policies” and is focused on dealing with the “addiction and overdose epidemic.”
She mentioned that he still believes people should not be jailed for nonviolent cannabis offenses, pointing out the clemency actions he took in April when he commuted the sentences of 75 people, some of whom had nonviolent cannabis convictions on their records. Jean-Pierre added that she didn’t have a specific update to share on Biden’s plans to issue mass pardons for people with cannabis convictions or pass federal cannabis reform.
The press secretary noted that Biden still supported allowing states to determine their own recreational cannabis policies, rescheduling marijuana as a Schedule II drug to facilitate research into its risks and benefits, decriminalization at the federal level and automatically expunging nonviolent cannabis offenses.
If the Biden administration would enact even modest reforms at the federal level, such as decriminalizing medical marijuana, many believe that many opportunities would open up for cannabis industry companies, including ancillary ones such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) given that most states have legalized cannabis in some form.
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