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Biden Tweets Support For Marijuana Reform At 4:20 On 4/20

President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took to social media on Saturday to renew their support for federal marijuana policy reform, calling for an end of criminal penalties for low-level pot offenses on the cannabis community’s unofficial 4/20 holiday.

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“Sending people to prison just for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit,” Biden wrote on X at 4:20 p.m. EDT on April 20. “It’s time that we right these wrongs.”

The president also took advantage of the opportunity to call for changes in marijuana policy at the state level, writing, “I’m urging all governors to pardon prior state offenses of simple possession of marijuana. No one should be in a federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, and no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either.”

President Biden and Vice President Harris tweeted their support for cannabis policy reform on April ... [+]

For decades, the number 420 has served as a rallying cry for the cannabis community after becoming code for smoking weed among a group of California teens. Since then, April 20 (4/20) has become the unofficial weed high holiday, with celebrations taking place in cities around the world. The date has taken on added significance with the growing success of cannabis reform that has led to the legalization of recreational marijuana in two dozen states across the country.

Vice President Kamala Harris also celebrated the 4/20 holiday on social media with a message similar to the president’s.

“Nobody should have to go to jail for smoking weed,” Harris tweeted. “We must continue to change our nation’s approach to marijuana while reforming the justice system so it finally lives up to its name.”

Biden Administration Reviewing Federal Cannabis Policy

The president’s tweet comes in the midst of a review of federal cannabis policy now underway by the Biden administration. In 2022, Biden pardoned thousands of low-level marijuana offenses and directed his administration to review the federal prohibition of cannabis.

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Nearly a year later, Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine called on the Drug Enforcement Administration to change the classification of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act.

Under the 1970 legislation, the Schedule I classification indicates that a drug has no accepted medical value and a high propensity for abuse. Other drugs currently listed under Schedule I include heroin and LSD.

April 20 (4/20) has become the weed holiday celebrated by the cannabis community worldwide.

In January, a federal review of cannabis research by HHS determined that marijuana is eligible for less strict classification under federal drug laws, according to agency documents. In the review, researchers with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that credible evidence shows that marijuana has legitimate medical uses and fits the criteria for rescheduling under the Controlled Substances Act.

During a White House press briefing on April 15, Biden-administration press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the decision to reschedule cannabis is now in the hands of the DEA, adding that the HHS review was “independent” and “guided by the evidence.”

“This is a matter, at this point—now that HHS has completed their review—it’s in the Department of Justice,” she said. “They can speak to where we’re marijuana rescheduling is at this point.”

Although the DEA has not revealed when it will release its decision on rescheduling cannabis, Washington insiders expect the announcement to come before the presidential election in November, based on the timing of similar developments in the past and political considerations. Democrats see cannabis policy reform progress as a way to attract younger voters, who have consistently shown stronger support for legalizing marijuana than older voters



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