Joe Biden believes that young people are the key to marijuana legalization, and the reason he’s optimistic about this country’s future.
On Monday, President Biden attended a rally at Bowie State University in Maryland, one of the nation’s historically Black schools, where he momentarily broached the topic of marijuana and decriminalization.
“With your vote, I’m keeping my promise [that] no one should be in jail for the mere possession of marijuana, and their record should be expunged,” said Biden.
“Remember, the power is in your hands. You’re one of the reasons why I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future.”
While the Biden administration hasn’t supported marijuana legalization outright, it is the most pro-cannabis administration in history, issuing pardons for non-violent cannabis convictions and often speaking up about the impact that the war on drugs has had on communities of color.
Biden has made it clear that he hoped to improve the lives of Black Americans with his pardons. While his support for the cause is only a first step, it represents an important moment.
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer talked about passing a marijuana banking and expungement bill, which will significantly affect the lives of people involved in the cannabis industry and those who have non-violent records with the drug.
“I am working in a bipartisan way with Democrats and Republicans to take the SAFE Banking Act, which allows financial institutions to involve themselves in cannabis companies and lend money to them—but it also does some things for justice, such as expunging a record,” he said in a debate.
The bill is called the SAFE Banking Act and while it has passed the House, it has been stalled by the Senate time and time again.