Why President Biden’s move to pardon all federal offences of cannabis possession smells fishy

By Alma Fabiani

Published Oct 7, 2022 at 12:06 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

36952

On Thursday 6 October 2022, US President Joe Biden made a surprise announcement where he revealed that he was granting the country a mass marijuana possession pardon and initiating an administrative review of cannabis scheduling. De-scheduling weed would remove it from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) entirely, thus making it legal. It’s safe to say that the news set the internet ablaze in no time.

While many lawmakers, advocates and marijuana industry stakeholders are widely applauding the move, there has been some pushback from conservative members of Congress.

Biden’s decision fulfils a campaign promise—one that is likely to please members of his left-leaning political base ahead of the November midterm elections (in which the president’s fellow Democrats are defending control of the House of Representatives and Senate).

And boy did he manage to impress! Currently in the US, there are almost 40 states that have already legalised marijuana use in some form. That being said, it still remains completely illegal in some states as well as at the federal level.

Reclassification would be a first step towards wider legalisation, a move backed by a majority of Americans. It would also usher in sweeping changes for companies and law enforcement, impacting millions in the process.

As reported by Reuters, a senior administration official said more than 6,500 people with prior federal convictions could be affected by the pardons.

“Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It’s time that we right these wrongs,” Biden said during his announcement. Urging state governors to follow suit, he added: “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.”

But as shares of cannabis growers and sellers surged following Biden’s comments and many citizens rejoiced, party-pooper Republicans criticised the decision. “In the midst of a crime wave and on the brink of a recession, Joe Biden is giving blanket pardons to drug offenders—many of whom pled down from more serious charges,” Republican Senator Tom Cotton shared on Twitter.

“This is a desperate attempt to distract from failed leadership,” he added.

Obviously, this is politics, which means Biden’s strategy goes deeper than simply indulging stoners—the global cannabis industry is forecast to hit $55 billion in sales by 2026, with the US market growing to $40 billion by then. My TikTok FYP might be rampant with edits of the president talking nonsense and looking lost on stage but it’s clear his team of advisors know what they’re doing.

Don’t get it twisted though. Biden remains what he has always been, openly hostile to cannabis consumers and determined to ensure that if cannabis itself won’t destroy your life, cannabis policy surely will.

Have we all forgotten about the March 2021 reports that Biden’s White House had fired or reassigned multiple young staffers whose sole ‘indiscretion’ was prior cannabis use? Many of these individuals lived in states where cannabis use and sale is perfectly legal, casting doubt at the time on the president’s campaign pledge that states should be free to implement their own cannabis laws without federal intervention.

Biden’s record on marijuana, drugs and crime is arguably the worst and most punitive of any Democratic politician of the past 50 years—excluding Senator Dianne Feinstein. He was an author and champion of the 1994 Crime Bill that is largely responsible for the current mass incarceration crisis in the US. He was also the lead sponsor of the RAVE Act, a draconian drug policy legislation passed by Congress that punished concert venue owners and promoters if drugs were used or sold at their events, even if they had zero knowledge or involvement in the drug-related activity.

All the way back in 1974, the current commander-in-chief himself stated “I don’t think marijuana should be legalised,” and repeated that sentiment as recently as 2010 when he said “I think legalisation is a mistake.”

Keeping this in mind, it’s highly possible that the Biden administration—including the president and Vice President Kamala Harris—only supports decriminalisation and the use of medical marijuana, rather than a full-scale reform.

Politics, heh?

Keep On Reading

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Tripping through J.Lo-land: Unpacking the singer’s most insane project yet

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Vatican declares London teen Carlo Acutis a saint after historic approval by Pope Francis

By Charlie Sawyer

Vivek Ramaswamy shares Taylor Swift conspiracy and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. denies OnlyFans rumour

By J'Nae Phillips

How Gen Z women are using fashion to say f*ck you to the male gaze

By Abby Amoakuh

Bridgerton’s casting director reveals why her inbox regularly gets flooded with NSFW audition tapes

By Abby Amoakuh

Sofia Coppola’s Apple TV project with Florence Pugh got axed over an unlikable female character — WTF?

By Abby Amoakuh

GK Barry gets real about Channel 4 show Boss Pitches and working with Nella Rose

By Abby Amoakuh

Who is Nara Pellman? Meet the Mormon tradwife taking TikTok by storm

By Abby Amoakuh

Barron Trump is being groomed to take over the Trump empire and the graduation fuss proves it

By Emma O'Regan-Reidy

Why are Gen Zers putting bows on everything? Explaining the coquette ribbon obsession

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

What is the viral red nail theory and does it actually work?

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Boycott BrewDog trends on X after allegations of racism, EDL association, and employee discrimination circulate

By Abby Amoakuh

Remote Amazonian tribe reports aggressive sexual behaviour in young men after being exposed to internet

By Abby Amoakuh

Book reveals embarrassing STD tests on Trump’s Apprentice as interviews with Logan Paul airs

By Abby Amoakuh

Nicholas Galitzine comes out as straight and reveals guilt over playing queer characters

By Abby Amoakuh

Woman inspired by Netflix docuseries Don’t F*ck With Cats butchers cat and man in brutal murder

By Charlie Sawyer

Nail salon offers customers discounts in exchange for consent to sell their feet pics

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Samaria Ayanle’s tragic death prompts theories about a serial killer targeting Black women in London

By Alma Fabiani

All the terrifying AI videos made using OpenAI’s Sora so far

By Charlie Sawyer

From being besties with Eminem to birthing the royal baby, here’s things you didn’t know about Trisha Paytas