White House Press Secretary Says President Biden Supports Decriminalizing Marijuana

During today’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that it’s “very, very clear” that President Biden supports decriminalizing marijuana.

“Look, [on] decriminalization the president has been very, very clear he doesn’t believe that anyone should be in jail, or be prosecuted, just for using or possessing marijuana. He continues to say that. He believes that”, said Jean-Pierre, when asked “does the White House believe that it has done enough as it relates to the issue of marijuana?”

Jean-Pierre then goes on to say “As you know he asked the Secretary of HHS and the attorney general to initiate the administrative process to review how marijuana is being scheduled. HHS concluded their independent review that was guided by evidence and science, which is what we believe here in this administration. And now the scheduling review is with the Department of Justice.”

Jean-Pierre finishes her answer by saying “The process is still going, the review is still going, so DOJ has this, but the president has been really, really clear about how he feels about being being prosecuted just for using or possessing marijuana. That has not changed.

President Biden has said on multiple occasions that no one should be imprisoned for marijuana, including saying during this year’s State of the Union address that “no one should be jailed for using or possessing marijuana.”

That said, President Biden and his press secretary have rarely spoke about decriminalization. The conversation up to this point has been focused primarily around the DEA’s current review of marijuana’s scheduling status, and the thousands of federal marijuana pardons issued by President Biden.

Despite the national conversation surrounding marijuana in recent months focused heavily on rescheduling, Democrats have been trying to turn the conversation to more meaningful reforms, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democratic leaders planning to file on 4/20 a bill to legalize marijuana nationwide. A similar measure filed last year in the House of Representatives has 87 sponsors, all Democrat.

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