As the midterms edge closer and closer, Democrats believe they have a window to push their agenda for marijuana reform.
Per The Hill, Democrats are pressuring Biden, trying to figure out what’s possible in terms of marijuana reform before the midterms in November. They believe the momentum gained by Biden’s previous decisions that leaned liberal — student loans, health care, and tax reforms — might positively impact marijuana decriminalization.
“Now that the president has delivered on a progressive policy of student debt relief, he has seen an uptick in the polls, he’s united the base, put Republicans on the defensive, and Democrats across the country seem to be riding the wave as well,” said influential Iowa Democrat Stacey Walker. “Along with several members of President Biden’s senior leadership team, we all agreed that at the very least the president should decriminalize marijuana and reschedule it through executive action at the federal level.”
Over the past weeks, other Democrats have echoed these statements, focusing on the benefits that this decision could have on the millions of people that have been negatively impacted by marijuana legislation in the past.
Democratic Senate hopeful John Fetterman publicly asked Biden to take action. “It’s long past time that we finally decriminalize marijuana,” said Fetterman. “The president needs to use his executive authority to begin descheduling marijuana, I would love to see him do this prior to his visit to Pittsburgh. This is just common sense and Pennslyvanians overwhelmingly support decriminalizing marijuana.”
A group of Democrats including Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and more, sent a letter to Biden, asking the president to remove the drug from the list of federally controlled substances. “I think Biden understands the larger issues at play here and I’m encouraged by that,” said Booker.
Marijuana legislation has taken great leaps over the past decade, with dozens of states decriminalizing and establishing recreational and medical markets. The American population is also supportive of marijuana, with polls showing that the majority of people believe in legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana.