Joe Biden earlier this afternoon:
“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.”
Historically way-way late, but still good.
I’ve been smoking marijuana for nearly half a century, and I’m way-better for it. Insane especially within the last couple of decades as more and more medical research way-indicates the benefits of marijuana beyond just feeling good while on earphones listening to Mott the Hoople.
And one of the horrors of Dick Nixon’s “war on drugs” (now more than 50 years old), and reinforced by Ron Reagan, is the shitty, back-asswards application of that so-called ‘war.’
Further backstory via The Washington Post this afternoon:
The push to decriminalize marijuana began in earnest in the 1990s as a reaction to the Reagan-era “war on drugs,” which activists argued had yielded overly severe penalties. Initially they argued for allowing marijuana for medical purposes, as research suggested that it could ease pain and nausea.
Five states and the District of Columbia approved medical marijuana in the 1990s, with eight more joining them in the 2000s. And as the cultural battles of the 1960s faded, states allowed recreational use as well, with Colorado in 2014 becoming the first to allow special dispensaries to sell marijuana for recreational use.
Currently, 37 states and D.C. allow medical marijuana use, while 19 states allow the drug for recreational purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. But even as states moved toward greater acceptance, the federal government continued to treat it as dangerous and illegal, creating an unusual tension between the two.
Five states have cannabis laws on the ballot in November, potentially adding to the momentum. Meanwhile, at least some federal lawmakers cheered Biden’s move.
“Cannabis justice is racial justice!” tweeted Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus.
And I guess, like a lot of other stuff, timely is not necessarily everyone’s time.
Biden’s statement continued:
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.
Yes, it is.
All along Trickie Dick and Righteous Ron were just assholes of common clay, you know, cruel morons:
Maybe time for another bowl, maybe, yet here we are once again…