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Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedLife News Network.

Washington, D.C. to soon allow tourists to buy Medical Cannabis

‘This will lead to increased patient access to plant-based medicine and will introduce new patients to the flourishing local medical marijuana landscape’

Tourists will soon be able to buy medical marijuana in Washington, D.C., a measure predicted to boost tourism and encourage people to travel to the U.S. capital city.

 

The bill signed by mayor Muriel Bowser will allow tourists to self-certify as medical patients for the duration of their stays. This will make it possible for them to buy weed without needing a doctor’s recommendation.

The bill was unanimously approved and increases the amount of medical marijuana a patient can possess from 113 grams to 227 grams. It also makes it easier for residents of neighbouring states to get medical marijuana in Washington, D.C. for whatever reason.

 

In July, Bowser signed into law the Medical Marijuana Self-Certification Emergency Amendment Act of 2022, which allows residents to self-certify as medical marijuana patients and buy cannabis from licensed retailers. This new bill extends those rights to tourists.

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Elected Officials, community leaders urge voters to Legalize Cannabis

BALTIMORE - Members of the Maryland House of Delegates and community members, including retired law enforcement and former Baltimore Ravens player Eugene Monroe, said legalization of recreational cannabis would create new jobs and investment opportunities and save the state money by eliminating the incarceration of thousands of residents annually on marijuana possession charges.

Spearheaded by Monroe’s advocacy organization, Yes on 4, the group urged Maryland residents to vote yes on question four to approve legalization of recreational cannabis when they go to the polls Nov. 8.

“Marijuana sales would create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs.” Monroe said during a press conference in West Baltimore. “It would also open doors for hundreds of new small business owners and create opportunities for workers in other industries, including those in real estate, construction and manufacturing.”

A recent poll by the Washington Post and the University of Maryland showed that 73% of registered Maryland voters support legalization of recreational cannabis.

“The numbers show Maryland residents want to legalize cannabis, because they know it will create good paying jobs and boost the state’s economy,” he said.

Maryland is one of five states that will consider legalization initiatives on Nov. 8, including Arkansas, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota. So far, 19 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older.

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Biden’s Focus on Marijuana Is Part of the Problem

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden released a three-prong plan to fulfill a campaign promise to roll back punishments for people convicted of marijuana possession.

He pledged to pardon everyone convicted in federal or Washington, DC courts of simple marijuana possession; encouraged governors to do the same for those convicted in state courts; and he promised he would ask his Secretary of Health and Human Services to examine rescheduling marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act

As many were quick to note, the plan’s immediate impact will likely be slight, at best. No one is in federal prison on marijuana possession charges, and though the White House said perhaps 6,500 people may have marijuana convictions pardoned, the plan will have little effect for those who also have any state conviction or any other federal conviction. Rescheduling may lead to some improvements in how we treat marijuana, but cocaine and methamphetamine are among the drugs in Schedule II, and both are still subjected to heavy criminalization.

Nor is it likely that marijuana pardons will prove a gateway policy to the broader use of mass pardons and commutations, a practice that was more widespread in the past but has fallen into almost complete disuse. The most likely issue to follow the Biden plan would be relief for elderly people serving life sentences, but the effectiveness with which Dr. Mehmet Oz is attacking Lt. Gov. John Fetterman on his tenure as chair of the Pennsylvania pardon board suggests that clemency has nowhere near the popular support of marijuana policy.

A bigger concern, though, is not just that the policy might accomplish very little, but that it might make things worse for criminal legal reform in the long run because it reinforces a false narrative about the causes of mass punishment in general and mass incarceration in particular. It’s a narrative that shapes—or, better put, misshapes—policy.

Most Americans are deeply misinformed about why people are in prison. A survey in 2017 found that solid majorities across the ideological spectrum agreed with the claim that a majority of people in U.S. prisons are there for drug crimes. That’s a far cry from reality: 14 percent of people in state prisons were locked up for drug offenses at the time, a number that has fallen since then. (Those held in state prisons make up 90 percent of the nation’s incarcerated population.) This misbelief likely contributed to the next two results from that survey: while majorities of liberals, moderates, and conservatives favored lesser sanctions for those convicted of non-violent crimes who posed little risk of reoffending, majorities of all three groups also opposed lesser sanctions for those convicted of violence who likewise pose little risk of reoffending.

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Bernie Sanders says he’s concerned about teen enthusiasm for cannabis

‘Marijuana is not heroin, it is not fentanyl. It should not be lumped together’

Bernie Sanders is pro-cannabis legalization, yet is still concerned about some potential harms of the drug, especially with regards to teens.

The senator recently stopped by Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, Ver. for a town hall, where he spoke about topics ranging from climate change to health care and teens smoking weed.

“It’s terribly important for me to hear what’s on the minds of young people. They are the future of the country,” said Sanders.

A member of the audience asked his opinion regarding President Joe Biden’s marijuana pardons, and the effect that these would have on cannabis charges. Per the Bennington Banner, the question was met with an enthusiastic reaction from the audience, something that made Sanders frown.

The senator said marijuana is a topic that’s often brought up in high school events. “That worries me, to tell you the truth,” Sanders reportedly said.

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Biden order adds momentum to bipartisan Marijuana bill

President Biden’s move to reevaluate marijuana’s legal status and pardon federal weed convictions has reinvigorated momentum for congressional action to boost the ailing cannabis industry. 

Lawmakers see the lame-duck session as their best chance yet to pass the SAFE Banking Act, a bipartisan measure that would enable cannabis businesses to more easily access banking services and loans. 

The bill — which would be a boon for cash-only dispensaries that are plagued by robberies and exorbitant banking fees — has already passed the House six times in recent years. But it’s stalled in the Senate amid concerns from top Democrats who said it doesn’t do enough to support communities disproportionately harmed by the nation’s drug laws. 

Public pressure is building on Congress to take on marijuana reform, and lawmakers are showing signs of optimism about the prospects of a bipartisan marijuana banking bill that addresses those systemic issues making its way to the president’s desk this year. 

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), who first introduced the bill in 2019, told The Hill on Tuesday that there’s “a lot of activity” around the legislation, which he said some senators have referred to as “SAFE Banking Plus” amid ongoing negotiations.  

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As election day nears, debate over Marijuana heats up

RAPID CITY -The debate over the recreational marijuana issue continues. However, according to a federally funded survey, youth marijuana use decreased significantly in 2021, as well as teen consumption of illicit substances overall.

“Colorado’s 171 million dollars was appropriated strictly to education; that’s educating our youth on the effects of marijuana and what that looks like, and that’s resources well-spent. Other tax revenues went to drug addiction, law enforcement, roads and infrastructure amongst building brand new schools and a wide variety of things that can help benefit the South Dakota community,” says proponent Kittrick Jeffries, CEO for Puffy’s Dispensary

Jim Kinyon, chairman for Protecting South Dakota Kids, counters by saying some Colorado resident, have moved to South Dakota because of the negative impact cannabis has had on Colorado.

“We don’t lock up people for marijuana. We try and get them healthy,” said Kinyon, “In the state of South Dakota, if this gets legalized, we’re leaving South Dakota because our kids and our families won’t be safe.”

Meade County Sheriff-elect Pat West says you would be allowed to grow up to three or six marijuana plants in a household but no more than an ounce of product.

“So if they’re allowed to have six marijuana plants in a house, that means you can grow up to 60 pounds of marijuana every three months; that’s an excessive amount of marijuana,” said West.

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Gadsden joins Glencoe in passing ordinance opening door for medical cannabis industry

The State of Alabama gave its OK to medical cannabis more than two years ago, and the process of making that a reality — from growing it to getting it to patients in need — will begin in coming months as the application process for the limited number of business licenses begins.

For cites and counties to have a shot at landing one of those businesses, their governing bodies must approve an ordinance saying they are open to cannabis-related industries.

The Gadsden City Council approved that ordinance last week, seeking to be added the state's list of approving cities or counties by Oct. 17 — the deadline set by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission for requests for licenses for businesses related to medical cannabis.

Gadsden joins Glencoe — the only other Etowah County site listed — Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and 15 other municipalities or counties.

There are a limited number of licenses to be granted, City Attorney Lee Roberts told Gadsden council members. "It's going to be very competitive," he said, when it comes to landing these industries.

Council member Jason Wilson said it's estimated that one of these licensed dispensaries could generate $20 million in sales, which would be subject to sales tax.

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How legal weed has changed the USA

 

Turn an illicit product into a highly taxed and regulated one and you have a classic business experiment.

Do it with a little-studied psychoactive substance that has both medical promise and addictive potential and you have a public health trial, too. That’s what the US has done with cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana, pot or weed. Changes in state laws since 1996 have given 74% of the US population access to some form of legal cannabis. Now President Joe Biden is taking steps toward decriminalizing marijuana on the federal level.

1. What’s been the impact of legalized weed?

It’s been difficult to measure, as each state tracks data differently, if at all. What evidence there is shows that while legitimizing cannabis has generated jobs and tax revenue, the larger effects on society are a mixed bag. The effects on crime rates and social justice have been positive, but not entirely so. Some people seem to benefit from access to marijuana, but there are signs its easy availability puts more people at risk of addiction to it and increases cases of impaired driving.

2. What are the benefits of marijuana?

Apart from getting people high, there’s solid evidence that it reduces chronic pain, multiple sclerosis-related muscle spasms and chemotherapy-related nausea, according to one of the largest studies, a 2017 report that reviewed more than 10,000 scientific abstracts since 1999.

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Statement from President Biden on Marijuana Reform

As I often said during my campaign for President, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana.

Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit. Criminal records for marijuana possession have also imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities.  And while white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.

Today, I am announcing three steps that I am taking to end this failed approach.

First, I am announcing a pardon of all prior Federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana.  I have directed the Attorney General to develop an administrative process for the issuance of certificates of pardon to eligible individuals.  There are thousands of people who have prior Federal convictions for marijuana possession, who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result.  My action will help relieve the collateral consequences arising from these convictions.

Second, I am urging all Governors to do the same with regard to state offenses.  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.

Third, I am asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to initiate the administrative process to review expeditiously how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.  Federal law currently classifies marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the classification meant for the most dangerous substances.  This is the same schedule as for heroin and LSD, and even higher than the classification of fentanyl and methamphetamine – the drugs that are driving our overdose epidemic. 

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Agriculture commissioner Sid Miller faces legal and ethical questions in reelection bid

A close friend and political consultant’s felony indictment is among the controversies plaguing the incumbent Republican.

The Agriculture Commissioner has a broad range of responsibilities, including issues related to farming and ranching, rural health care and even public school cafeterias.

But in 2019, the commissioner took on an additional job: overseeing the licensing for the new industry of hemp.

Two-term Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller starred in a video his department made explaining the good, the bad and the ugly about growing hemp. He also issued a warning.

“Be on the lookout for fraud. As usual with any new emerging industries, there’s a risk of fraud. And unfortunately there’s always someone out there looking to take advantage of you,” he said.

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2023 Farm Bill: Potential savior for hemp-derived cannabinoids?

With 2023 just a few months away, Congress is going through its every-five-year exercise of passing a new Farm Bill, the omnibus legislation that funds agriculture projects across the country and a wide variety of other initiatives, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

Unlike 99% of bills introduced on Capitol Hill, the Farm Bill is a must-pass piece of legislation. Without it, the health and security of the U.S. food supply could be put at risk.

Farm Bills have served as the crucial vehicle for development of hemp policy. In 2014, the one-year-delayed Farm Bill legalized hemp production for research and development through the establishment and legalization of state pilot programs. Then, in 2018, the Farm Bill permanently legalized hemp, including cannabinoids derived from hemp, as well as commercially legalizing hemp farming and manufacturing nationwide.

The 2023 Farm Bill is our next great opportunity. The U.S. Hemp Roundtable has an ambitious agenda. And at the top of our priority list is addressing the lack of a regulatory framework for hemp-derived cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD). 

Since passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and hemp-derivatives containing no more than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), FDA has refused to develop a regulatory pathway for the use of CBD in dietary supplements and food. Despite CBD products making up the majority of the current hemp market, the agency has failed to take decisive action to ensure these products are appropriately regulated and comply with existing federal requirements.

Farm bills typically deal with agricultural and food-related issues, and just like many other farm commodities, there’s overlap regarding regulatory oversight of hemp between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and FDA. After the 2018 Farm Bill, USDA worked diligently to develop its final rule on hemp production, and although it’s not perfect, it established a sufficient framework for farmers and manufacturers to operate in relation to hemp farming. Unfortunately, federal regulatory uncertainty regarding hemp-derived CBD due to lack of FDA regulation has severely impacted the CBD-driven hemp market, with reduced manufacturing demand resulting in a more than 90% commodity price decline.

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Will Governors have to follow Biden’s Cannabis pardon?

Biden’s cannabis pardon will affect the lives of thousands of people. Does this mean governors will have to follow the president’s lead?

President Biden’s pardon of non-violent marijuana offenses feels like a prelude to a new cannabis era. Through a hopeful lens, the move represents a time when more and more states are legalizing cannabis and the drug has almost bipartisan approval. Realistically, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Biden’s pardon served as a guidance, one that governors are free to disregard. POLITICO interviewed several experts and politicians who believe Biden’s decision won’t influence Republican governors, especially since elections are within weeks. In the case of Democrats, these governors likely already have pardons in place for these types of offenses.

“I don’t think that it’s going to rise to a high enough level of concern in the short term, and probably not even in the longer term,” said Gregg Peppin, a Republican political strategist, when discussing the Republican party and their plans for the November elections.

“The battle lines have been hardened as it relates to the issues of this election. Republicans are campaigning on economic issues and public safety,” he said.

Even if some governors wanted to follow Biden’s advice, their state’s legislation might make that difficult, having laws that prevent mass pardons for certain groups of people. POLITICO suggests that this is the case with states like Minnesota, Louisiana and Kansas.

In theory, Biden’s pardon should affect around 6,500 people with federal possession convictions. It’s unclear how this will occur though since the Justice Department will have to figure out who fits the administration’s criteria and it’s very likely that some people deserving of a pardon will miss out due to bureaucracy.

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Recreation Marijuana could bring millions of dollars into the state if Legalized

RAPID CITY - With the general election less than a month away, many South Dakota voters are already casting their ballots.

One issue voters will be deciding on is Initiated Measure 27. If passed, it would legalize the use of recreational marijuana in the state.

According to a report done by the Motley Fool, which broke down the marijuana tax revenue by state, the sales tax from marijuana could potentially generate millions for South Dakota.

In places like Colorado, where marijuana is legal for recreational use, the state reported a sales tax revenue in 2021 of more than $423 million.

The report found that if recreational marijuana is legalized in South Dakota, the state could generate more than $14 million within three years.

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Biden’s Statement on Marijuana Reform: What Does it Mean?

While states continue moving to legalize cannabis, change has been slower to nonexistent at the federal level.

That may have changed last week with President Biden’s statement on marijuana reform, announcing that he was pardoning citizens with federal convictions of simple possession of marijuana. He also directed an administrative review of how marijuana is scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

The cannabis industry has grown into a multibillion dollar industry with recreational use legalized in 19 states and medicinal use legalized in 18 states. In November, voters in five more states (Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota) will decide whether to legalize recreational use marijuana. While the President’s statement likely represents the largest shift in federal marijuana policy in the last 50 years, significant questions still remain as to what changes will take place, when those changes will occur, and what it means for the cannabis industry.

A Review of Marijuana Scheduling

President Biden’s directive to review scheduling doesn’t change the current federal restriction on marijuana. In 1970, under the CSA, marijuana was categorized, alongside heroin and LSD, in the most prohibitive classification as a Schedule I drug. In the five-tier scheduling, Schedule I drugs are deemed to be “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” 

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has indicated his agency will move “as quickly as we can but, at the end of the day science is going to take us to a solution.” The review of federal scheduling will be tasked to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which will conduct a scientific and medical analysis (including to determine currently accepted medical uses and potential for abuse) to make a recommendation on scheduling to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The CSA authorizes the DEA to move a drug to a lower schedule or remove it entirely. Moving as quickly as possible, the review process will take some time. Even with an administrative rescheduling review, the question remains as to what rescheduling would take place.  Would marijuana be moved to Schedule II (with cocaine, fentanyl, and methamphetamine) or Schedule III (with anabolic steroids) or removed from the CSA entirely?

Aside from the FDA evaluation and DEA rescheduling, Congress could also choose to enact legislation amending the CSA and removing marijuana from Schedule I. While the MORE Act was passed by the US House, the Senate has not yet seen sufficient support to pass legislation to remove marijuana’s Schedule I status. 

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Most Americans support forgiveness for Past Marijuana crimes, oppose Cannabis’ schedule

Most Americans oppose marijuana’s categorization as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, and they support efforts to forgive those convicted of cannabis-related offenses, according to nationwide survey data compiled by USA Today/Ipsos Polling.

Nearly three in four Americans — including majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — support “changing how federal law classifies marijuana.” Since 1970, the US Controlled Substances Act has categorized marijuana in the same classification as heroin — defining it as a substance with a “high potential for abuse, … a lack of accepted safety, … and no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”

NORML has long called for the removal of cannabis from the CSA (a/k/a descheduling) in a manner similar to alcohol as opposed to moving it to a lower schedule like cocaine (Schedule II) or anabolic steroids (Schedule III). “In order to rectify the state/federal conflict that currently exists over marijuana policy, and in order to best maintain the market controls that a majority of states have enacted to promote public health, prevent the distribution of marijuana to minors, ensure safe business practices, and improve public safety, cannabis must be descheduled — not rescheduled — from the Controlled Substances Act,” NORML acknowledges in a position statement.

Public support for either pardoning or releasing those convicted for low-level marijuana-related crimes at either the state or federal level is more partisan with super-majorities of Democrats and Independents supporting such efforts, but only a minority of Republicans.

On Thursday, President Biden announced forgiveness for an estimated 6,500 people with marijuana-related federal convictions on their record. He also called upon Governors to take similar steps. According to archived data from the FBI, an estimated 29 million Americans have been arrested for violating state or local marijuana laws since the mid-1960s.

NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano praised the President’s actions in a new op-ed, opining, “Biden’s foray into the arena of marijuana reform legitimizes legalization as a subject worthy of consideration — and action — by those at the highest levels of government. Further, it is a recognition — by the president of the United States, no less — that America’s nearly 100-year experiment with cannabis criminalization has been an abject failure.”

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Road to Legalization: When will Germany actually legalize Cannabis?

Let’s look at the current state of cannabis regulation in Germany and when it might become legal.

There is still an evident stigma and tight regulations surrounding cannabis.

Most of Europe has moved towards legalization by decriminalizing recreational cannabis and legalizing medicinal use. There are some countries, however, that still haven’t budged a bit, like France. Germany is one of those countries with high intentions of legalizing, but where there is still some way to go.

Stereotypes aside, Germany is quite strict. There are lots of rules and policies in place that have made the transition towards legal cannabis use a bit more difficult. The great news is that broad picture, cannabis is decriminalized for recreational purposes and legal for medicinal ones.

Zoom in a little more and you’ll see that there are some areas that don’t quite add up. For instance, although using cannabis is decriminalized, possession isn’t, making it quite hard to not get in trouble. Let’s see what we need to know about legalization in Germany.

What Is The Current Legal Status of Cannabis in Germany?

Cannabis regulation is pretty strict in Germany. There are many different categories and comprehensive regulations for all of these. Let’s take a look at how possession, sale and supply, and cultivation are regulated in this country.

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Gov. (Texas) Greg Abbott refuses pardons for cannabis convictions

After President Joe Biden announced that he would be pardoning low-level federal marijuana crimes and pressuring the states to do the same, Gov. Greg Abbott has refused to follow. 

After President Joe Biden announced that he would be pardoning low-level federal marijuana crimes and pressuring the states to do the same, Gov. Greg Abbott has refused to follow. 

Renae Eze, a spokesperson for Gov. Abbott, commented, “Texas is not in the habit of taking criminal justice advice from the leader of the defund the police party and someone who has overseen a criminal justice system run amuck with cashless bail and a revolving door for violent criminals”.

Eze also stated, “the governor could only pardon offenders who have been through the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles system with a recommendation for pardon.”

Governors in other states, such as Illinois, Colorado, and Connecticut have applauded Biden after his announcement. The President is also calling for a review of the current Schedule 1 drug classification of cannabis. 

Conversely, governor candidate Beto O’Rourke states on his website, “When I’m governor, we will legalize marijuana and expunge the records of those arrested for marijuana possession—and we’ll use the nearly $1 billion in new state revenue and reduced criminal justice costs to invest in public schools and reduce property taxes.”

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Louisiana lawmakers divided over legalizing marijuana

MONROE - Louisiana lawmakers are reacting to calls to legalize marijuana.

It comes after President Joe Biden pardoned thousands convicted of federal possession charges and is reviewing how the drug is classified.

“I have been pretty firm in my opposition to any recreational marijuana, and that hasn’t changed,” State Senator Stewart Cathey of Monroe (R-33) told KNOE.

State Representative Travis Johnson (D-21) says he hasn’t given much thought to legalization, but is open to considering it.

“If it were to become legal, it would definitely be a new and improved and much-needed revenue for our state,” explained Johnson.

Cathay, who represents parts of six Northeast Louisiana parishes, previously voted against a bill to decrease criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of the drug.

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Marijuana pardons sensible; state should extend deadline

President Joe Biden on Thursday pardoned thousands of people convicted of marijuana possession by the federal government, restoring their full political and civil rights.

Governors nationwide should follow suit, and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf should consider extending the deadline of a state pardon project. 

Mr. Biden’s pardons affect only about 6,500 people. Nevertheless, the action is a step toward more rational and humane drug policies. The nation’s drug laws, exemplified by the War on Drugs, have been a disaster, punishing addiction instead of treating it, and meting out draconian sentences for drug use that are out-of-step with science and public opinion. Nearly 70% of Americans support legalizing marijuana, Gallup polling shows.   

Federal pardons will restore full political and civil rights, eliminating the so-called collateral consequences of convictions: criminal records that pose formidable barriers to jobs, housing, education, and student grants and loans. Those obstacles make it more difficult for people to succeed. Mr. Biden also asked states to reconsider the legal status of marijuana. 

“No one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana,” the president said in his official statement. “Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit. Criminal records for marijuana possession have also imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities.”

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Wolf’s Marijuana Pardon Project aims to fast-track pardons for nonviolent marijuana convictions. Roughly 3,500 people have applied for expedited pardons, but the deadline for applying for them expired at the end of September. Mr. Wolf ought to consider extending the deadline. Publicity generated by President Biden’s pardons has made more people aware of the Pennsylvania pardon project. 

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US President Biden flags major Marijuana reform

Jaws were on the floor across the USA late last week after President Joe Biden made a surprise announcement in relation to marijuana.

While the majority of US states have medical marijuana programs in place, things are trickier at a federal level. The 2018 Farm Bill made cannabis with a delta-9 THC content of under .03% (hemp) legal – but for anything above that, it is considered marijuana and therefore illegal according to federal law.

Currently, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, a classification reserved for what are considered the most problematic substances. That marijuana is in this category given its safety profile has always been a thorny point.

On Thursday, President Biden announced he was asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to kick off an administrative process to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.

“Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana,” said the President. “It’s time that we right these wrongs.”

He also announced a pardon of all prior Federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana. The number of those affected – and the impacts of their records – is significant. President Biden said he was also urging all state Governors to do the same in relation to state offenses.

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