On Tuesday Ohio became the 24th state in the US to legalize recreational marijuana, but it apparently has had no impact on President Biden’s views.
On Wednesday White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked during a press conference whether or not Biden believes that “marijuana restrictions should be loosened on the federal level”, following Ohio voters choosing to legalize.
“The president put out his stance on marijuana about a year and a half ago”, said Jean-Pierre. “Nothing has changed there. I will leave it to the people of Ohio to decide on how they’re going to move forward with their own Constitution, but I’m just not going to speak to it further”.
Jean-Pierre concluded her remarks on the issue by stating “We’ve been very clear.”
Although Biden does not support legalizing marijuana, he has made several notable moves when it comes to marijuana and marijuana law reform.
For example, the Department of Health recently sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officially requesting marijuana be reclassified as a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which would effectively legalize it for prescription use. The letter came in response to a request by President Biden last year for the government to research and consider rescheduling marijuana, and congressional researchers say it’s “likely” the DEA will actually take the action of rescheduling.
In addition to this, last year Biden signed the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act into law, making it the first standalone piece of marijuana legislation to ever be signed into law by a U.S. president.
However, both of Biden’s primary challengers – Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips (D) and author Marianne Williamson – support fully legalizing marijuana. Although many political experts consider their chances to be slim to none, many marijuana reform advocates are hoping having two pro-legalization opponents will push Biden to be more supportive of legalization, or at least descheduling marijuana