Oct 9, 2022
President Biden on Marijuana Reform Transcript
President Biden on Marijuana Reform. Read the transcript here.
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President Biden: (00:00)
As I said when I ran for president, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana. It’s already legal in many states. And criminal records for marijuana possession have led to needless barriers to employment, to housing, and educational opportunities. And that’s before you address the racial disparities around who suffers the consequences. While white and black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, black and brown people are arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionately higher rates. So today I’m taking three steps to end this failed approach.
President Biden: (00:34)
First, I’m announcing a pardon for all prior federal offenses for the civil possession of marijuana. There are thousands of people who are convicted for marijuana possession who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result of that conviction. My pardon will remove this burden on them. Second, I’m calling on all governors to do the same for state marijuana possession offenses. Third, the federal government currently classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance, the same as heroin and LSD and more serious than fentanyl. It makes no sense. So I’m asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to initiate a process to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law. Even as federal and local regulations of marijuana change, important limitations on trafficking, marketing, and underage sales should stay in place. Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It’s time that we right these wrongs.