The White House addressed young people on Thursday via a fact sheet that addresses a laundry list of issues facing the fastest-growing demographic in the country – from student debt and gun violence to environmental concerns to the consistently failed approach to cannabis reform.
Echoing President Biden’s as yet unfulfilled campaign and midterm promises, the section addressing the “failed approach to marijuana” addresses a far shorter laundry list of changes.
The introduction to the “Addressing a Failed Approach to Marijuana” section of the fact sheet states that “The criminalization of marijuana possession has upended too many lives—for conduct that is now legal in many states. While white, Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people are more likely to be in jail for it.”
The fact sheet then touts Biden’s October pardon of federal cannabis prisoners, which impacted some 6,500 individuals with prior convictions for simple weed possession.
It explained that pardons are important because they lift barriers to housing, employment and educational opportunities, etc. At the time, Biden called on state governors to do the same. Some did but most didn’t. Not surprisingly, it turned into a red-state, blue-state conflict.
And last but not least, “because this Administration is guided by science and evidence, he asked the Secretary of HHS and the Attorney General to begin the administrative process of reviewing how marijuana is classified under federal law and undertake it expeditiously.”
In late August, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) called on the DEA to ease restrictions on cannabis by reclassifying it as a Schedule III rather than a Schedule I drug, which when it gets underway, will ease some onerous tax burdens on the industry and facilitate cannabis research.
A Moving Show
The so-called Fight For Our Freedoms College Tour campaign, which involves touring by VP Kamala Harris, began at Hampton College and will include a total of seven colleges across the country over the next month. No word on how the administration intends to reach out to the millions of young people who do not attend college and universities.
Too little, too late? While it’s never too late to do the right thing, this sure seems like too little.
Marijuana Moment first reported this story.
Photo: Prindle Institute