Biden faces growing pressure to legalize weed

John Fetterman is calling on the president to do it before Labor Day

Democratic Senate hopeful John Fetterman is calling on President Joe Biden to decriminalize marijuana before visiting Pennsylvania next week.

It’s past time to decriminalize marijuana, according to a statement released by Fetterman on Monday. “The president needs to start descheduling marijuana using his executive authority. I would love to see him do this before his visit to Pittsburgh.”

According to a Monday White House memorandum, Biden will visit Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, two crucial political swing states, next week to “honor Labor Day and the dignity of American workers.” When in Pittsburgh, Biden will meet with Fetterman, the Democratic candidate to defeat Dr. Mehmet Oz of the Republican Party.

Cannabis legalization has been a focal point of Fetterman’s Senate campaign since he has been a lifelong supporter of cannabis reform. In order to end the war on drugs, Fetterman promises to “push to deschedule marijuana, expunge the records of people convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses, and prohibit the monopolization of this flourishing new economy” if he wins the election in November, according to his campaign website.

Biden had opposed decriminalizing marijuana, but by the time he was selected as the Democratic party’s presidential candidate in 2020, his views had changed.

Through executive action, the Democratic party decriminalized and rescheduled marijuana that year as part of its platform. Biden hasn’t yet taken any substantial steps to reschedule or alter cannabis regulation, despite the platform.

The Biden administration was reportedly putting up plans to release prisoners who had been imprisoned for offenses involving marijuana last month, according to Marijuana Moment. Biden stated in a press conference that “nobody should be in prison for using marijuana.” We’re currently working on the Crime Bill, he continued. Biden commuted the sentences of more than 70 people found guilty of offenses involving cannabis in April.

The Verge asked the White House for a statement on Monday, asking if the president intended to take any cannabis-related actions. The White House did not respond right away.