The President of the United States, and the Cannabis Pardon.
In early October, US president Joe Biden announced the granting of pardons to those convicted by the federal justice for possessing cannabis /marijuana. Mr. Biden encouraged the State governors to act accordingly, granting pardons to the people in state prisons. To date, several US states legalized medical or /and recreational cannabis use, although the herb remains on Schedule I controlled substances, among other substances with a high risk of abuse, which means that it isn’t federally recognized for its medical use.
A White House official reported that cannabis remains on the same Schedule as heroin and LSD, even higher than the classification for fentanyl and methamphetamine, the drugs that are driving American citizens to the overdose epidemic. President Biden specifically states that:
“It doesn’t make any sense. So many lives have been ruined because of our failed approach to cannabis marijuana.”Joe Biden
So far, 37 States have legalized medical cannabis use, and 19 states have legalized recreational cannabis use. In anticipation of the expected referendums in 2023 and 2024 in the states of Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Cannabis Activists and NGOs welcome the Biden initiative, although they highlight that only 6.500 people have been federally convicted for cannabis possession. The rest of the possession cases refer to the state and local levels. Besides, people arrested for cannabis-related violations because of the war on drugs since 1965 have risen to 29 million!
Cannabis organizations insist that legalization on the local or state level is not enough to resolve cannabis–related cases. Such legalizations become more of an obstacle to the market, while cannabis consumers cannot use it properly because their rights remain under the microscope. A crucial decision for a better flow and significant progress would be the cannabis repeal from the US Controlled Substances Act.
However, this particular president Biden’s decision is taking a $33billion industry out of the closet. Indeed, it is a move that offers relief to those suffering from the consequences of the war on drugs.
This decision certainly opens the discussion on cannabis for different and essential federal and maybe global solutions.
We should highlight that US citizens also welcome recreational cannabis use. Last year’s Gallup poll reported that 68% of the participants favor cannabis legalization. Another recent survey indicates that 70% of the participants consider cannabis smoking acceptable.
Apparently, even partial cannabis legalization has already positively impacted the stigma around the plant and its uses. We can only hope that cannabis–related laws will also keep progressing in our legislation, especially concerning effective solutions for commercial and social reasons. Many people confront the ban consequences daily, facing legal issues, or they are socially disconnected because of the use.