We never anticipated a colossal shift in cannabis use and reform with Biden’s presidency and administration. That said, most of America is well on its way to legalizing marijuana, as 90% of Americans believe in the legalization of medical marijuana and 60% support recreational use, leaving us with a few questions regarding when and if Biden’s administration will push the bill.
Vice president of government affairs at Turning Point Brands, Paul Blair, mentioned that Biden’s outlook on cannabis is “a start, but clearly not a present priority.” He continued, “I don’t see the administration changing its stance, however, until they’re presented with a concrete consensus proposal for the regulation of the marketplace and a path to passage for a legalization bill.” However, both are currently non-existent.
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Former spokesperson for Obama’s 2008 press secretary, Ellen Mellody, is now a strategist for the cannabis media firm MATTIO Communications. She touched on the subject of how Biden’s generation was persuaded to condemn cannabis and its culture due to propaganda and misinformation, although she deems it as a weak excuse after witnessing how the majority of America is waiting for federal legalization.
“That’s morally unconscionable, disappointing, out of line with this moral character and reveals how persuasive these misinformation campaigns have been surrounding cannabis,” Mellody says.
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NORML political director Justin Strekal mentioned that more political pressure and influence could coerce Biden to get the ball rolling. “I am of the belief that reform will come when Congress sends it across town, as opposed to coming from the White House,” Strekal explained.
Paul Blair followed up by saying that we should be focussing on the five potential states that could see cannabis reform into 2022. He also mentioned that reform in conservative states through ballot objectives is a focal point.
“That’s what makes this more bipartisan and what tips the scales in Washington over the next five years, with more and more states, Red and Blue, creating marketplaces,” Blair said.
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