A popular group for advocating marijuana is behind the motion of a petition pushing for President Trump and the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to give their support to the reformation of cannabis before the elections in November. NORML stated that a lot of Americans, including a large number of Republicans and twice that of Democrats, are in support of legalizing marijuana. Still, neither candidate appears willing to assist the policy change.
“The criminalization of marijuana financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color,” Erik Altieri NORML Executive Director said in a press release. “Americans demand a president who recognizes this reality and who will seek to amend federal law in a manner that comports with scientific consensus, public opinion, and the plant’s rapidly evolving cultural status.”
The group set out four particular policies they’re urging the candidates welcome:
- Federally de-schedule cannabis.
- Direct a review of federal marijuana convictions and expunge or resentence application cases.
- Provide federal aid to local and state governments to conduct their own reviews and facilitate expungements.
- Promote social equity in the cannabis industry and encourage the reinvestment of some marijuana tax revenue to communities most impacted by the drug war.
Within a few hours of the petition’s launch it had gotten almost 5,000 signatures. “Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition,” reads the petition.
Advocates of the reform expected that the criminal justice task reform force Biden and his former primary campaign rival Sen. Bernie Sanders had organized (I-VT) would’ve eventually suggested that the former Vice President support the legalization plans for adult use, but no such luck.
Rather, Biden, who was on-board for drug legislation while he was a senator, has dismissed decriminalizing cannabis possession, medical marijuana legalization, federal rescheduling, expungements and letting states place polices of their own.Trump, on the other hand, vocalized his support for medical used of cannabis and also bipartisan legislation, which would permit states to declare marijuana laws of their own without incurring the wrath of federal law as well.
But, during the campaign process of the President’s re-election, he hasn’t made any move to actively join the cannabis reform movement, despite being portrayed as the ideal candidate for criminal justice reform. Trump has also hired members of his administration who are anti-marijuana and delivered signing statements maintaining that it is within his right to pay no attention to long-term congress members that prevent the Justice Department from making use of its funds to meddle with medical marijuana programs that are state legal.
And, regardless of his declared backing of medical cannabis usage and the rights of the states, President Trump is obviously against the consumption of marijuana, proven two years later by a leaked recording from 2018. In the audio file, the President stated that the use of cannabis caused people to “lose IQ points.”
Now, as both parties begin feel pressured to acquire more voters, all that is left to note is if either one of them takes advantage of the situation and sets himself on the path that most Americans are on, in the direction of recreational legalization. Nonetheless, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) said recently that Congress will approve of legalization on the grounds that Democrats recluse claim to the White House and Senate, regardless of where Biden is on the topic if he’s elected.
“Not only do we know that ending marijuana prohibition is good policy, it is also good politics with majorities of all political persuasions supporting this change,” NORML’s Altieri told Marijuana Moment. “It amounts to almost political malpractice to continue to oppose these broadly popular reforms in the year 2020.”
“Biden and Trump have an opportunity to show some real leadership by taking ownership of this issue,” he said. “If they opt not to lead, we will continue to push for Congress to initiate these overdue policies and the two major party candidates can go down as firmly residing on the wrong side of history.”