Harris says DEA ought to take a look at marijuana reform as rapidly as attainable : NPR

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Vice President Harris speaks at a roundtable on marijuana reform that included rapper Fat Joe and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

Kent Nishimura/AFP through Getty Images


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Kent Nishimura/AFP through Getty Images


Vice President Harris speaks at a roundtable on marijuana reform that included rapper Fat Joe and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

Kent Nishimura/AFP through Getty Images

Vice President Harris on Friday urged the Drug Enforcement Administration to work as rapidly as attainable on its evaluate of whether or not to reschedule marijuana as a less-dangerous drug.

Harris made her feedback throughout a roundtable dialog about marijuana reform with rapper Fat Joe, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, and several other individuals who have acquired pardons for prior marijuana convictions.

“Nobody ought to should go to jail for smoking weed,” Harris mentioned, framing the difficulty of marijuana reform as a prison justice subject that disproportionately hurts Black and Latino males.

This was a marketing campaign promise from 2019

During his 2019 marketing campaign, Biden pledged he would decriminalize marijuana and expunge prior convictions for pot use. He mentioned he would help legalization for medical use — however go away choices about leisure use as much as the states.

Biden has pardoned folks convicted of easy possession beneath federal legislation and D.C. statute — although the overwhelming majority of convictions occur on the state degree. Harris praised Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear for addressing the difficulty in his state, and inspired different states to comply with his lead.

Marijuana is at the moment categorised as a Schedule I drug — as harmful as heroin — which Harris known as “absurd” and “unfair.” During his marketing campaign, Biden mentioned he would reschedule it.

In 2022, weeks earlier than the midterm elections, Biden introduced that he had requested Health and Human Services and the Justice Department to evaluate that classification. HHS completed its half of the evaluate final 12 months, however the DEA has not.

“I can not emphasize sufficient that they should get to it as rapidly as attainable, and we have to have a decision based mostly on their findings and their evaluation,” Harris mentioned on Friday.

Biden talked about the difficulty in his State of the Union handle

Biden talked about marijuana reform in his State of the Union handle, saying “No one ought to be jailed for utilizing or possessing marijuana.”

The subject polls significantly nicely with younger voters — a demographic that has turn into much less enthused about Biden particularly over the way in which he has dealt with Israel’s battle in Gaza.

Marijuana reform additionally got here up this week in Milwaukee, when Biden toured his get together’s marketing campaign headquarters for Wisconsin. One supporter held up an indication praising Biden for his point out of the difficulty within the State of the Union.

“I’m caring for that,” Biden mentioned.

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