Biden flirts with Mary Jane, pardons thousands convicted of possession
Nearly 9 out of every ten Americans supports recreational or medical use of marijuana, and now President Biden has joined the cannabis reform movement. The 79-year-old President announced the most significant steps ever taken by the US federal government to decriminalise marijuana.
Firstly, Biden is pardoning people with federal convictions for simple marijuana possession offences between 1992-2021, which is no small measure. Since 1965, nearly 29 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana-related violations. The move is a game-changer for thousands who will now have better access to housing, education and employment opportunities. As Biden’s executive order will only affect those charged under federal law, he has urged state governors to follow suit.
Secondly, the classification of marijuana will be reviewed. Currently, marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug, which puts it in the same category as LSD and heroin – and suggests it’s more serious than fentanyl and methamphetamine. At Biden’s instruction, the secretary of health and human services and the US attorney-general will review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law. This would reduce or potentially eliminate criminal penalties for possession.
These moves make sense: many states have already relaxed the rules around recreational cannabis and almost half the population of America can legally consume the drug. It’s also a way of righting racial wrongs. Biden said, “white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people are arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates”.
The timing of these historic steps coincides nicely with the mid-terms as Biden looks to light up support at the polls.
Decriminalising marijuana hasn’t just sparked conversation around the world, it’s warming up the market too. News rooms have been name-dropping cannabis stocks, and prices are creeping higher.
Investing in cannabis has been a rollercoaster ride to date, but slow and steady legislative wins will turn this pipe dream into a long-term value success story.