Biden overhauling U.S. marijuana policy

Delicious homemade pot brownies with marijuana leaf garnish.

Prior federal offenses to be pardoned; moves could ease U.S. business for cannabis firms
US cannabis policy has been thrust to the fore after President Joe Biden issued a blanket pardon for Americans federally convicted of possessing small amounts of the drug.
President Joe Biden of the United States took action on marijuana policy reform on Thursday by pardoning thousands of people who had been convicted of federal felonies for the simple possession of marijuana and starting a review of the drug’s classification.
With regard to his unilateral order, Biden claimed that thousands of Americans with prior federal offenses might not be able to find work, housing, or educational prospects.
Prior to the November midterm elections, in which the president’s fellow Democrats are defending control of the House of Representatives and Senate, Biden’s action is sure to gratify supporters in his left-leaning political base. This is because it fulfills a campaign pledge.

“Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It’s time that we right these wrongs,” Biden said.
He urged state governors to follow suit.
“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,” Biden said.
Following Biden’s remarks, shares of marijuana producers and distributors soared, with Tilray Brands and Canopy Growth both rising by more than 20%.
A classification review’s findings can have far-reaching effects. The drug is currently classified higher than fentanyl and methamphetamine and in the same category as heroin and LSD, according to the president.
The federal government’s categorization of marijuana could be changed, potentially allowing major stock exchanges to list companies involved in the cannabis industry and possibly allowing international companies to start selling their goods in the United States.
Cannabis is still illegal under U.S. federal law, despite the fact that numerous states have authorized its usage for medical or recreational purposes, causing the majority of big banks to refuse services to cannabis-related firms.

Cannabis is legal for recreational use in 19 states, and for medicinal use in 37 states and the District of Columbia
Due to the problem, marijuana businesses in the United States are now only able to list their shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange or trade them over the counter in the United States.
Some members of Congress praised the president’s move.
“The Progressive Caucus applauds this action by President Biden today to advance criminal and racial justice,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal, who chairs a group of left-leaning lawmakers, in a statement.
Biden said he had directed Attorney General Merrick Garland to develop an “administrative process” to issue certificates of pardon to those who are eligible.
“The Justice Department will expeditiously administer the President’s proclamation, which pardons individuals who engaged in simple possession of marijuana, restoring political, civil, and other rights to those convicted of that offense,” the department said in a statement.
Biden said certain rules needed to stay in place even as regulations around the country loosened.
“Finally, even as federal and state regulation of marijuana changes, important limitations on trafficking, marketing, and underage sales should stay in place,” Biden said.

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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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