With Joe Biden Elected, Will Federal Marijuana Legalization Come Soon?


Marijuana advocates and industry leaders are optimistic about a positive trickle-down effect from the incoming administration, despite President-elect Joe Biden’s complicated political relationship with the plant.

Compared to his Democratic primary challengers, Biden was tepid about legal marijuana’s future in America and refused to endorse federal legalization on the campaign trail; as recently as 2019, he said that marijuana was a gateway drug. However, Biden softened his stance on the dangers of marijuana use as the campaign progressed, and his vice-presidential pick, Senator Kamala Harris, had already flipped after a career in criminal prosecution, even sponsoring a bill in Congress that would have legalized marijuana nationwide.

So will a Biden presidency push for pot legalization? When we asked that recently, readers were quick to respond with comments on the Facebook post of the story. Says Pat:

I think he has bigger problems than this to worry about!

Responds Bobby: 

Educate yourself. Thanks to marijuana reform, many cities and states have avoided complete government bankruptcy and shutdown. This is because of the legal marijuana taxes that are collected, and relief the marijuana industry provided via donations to help other businesses that were affected. 

Counters Ian:

Considering how heavily state revenues across the country have been hit by COVID, more state/federal legalization could go a long way in helping to pay for aid packages and economic recovery.

Adds Derrick: 

Plus significantly reducing the strain on law enforcement, renewing relationships between law enforcement officials and the community, and reducing the violence that often accompanies black market production/distribution models

Comments Ryan:

You’d be amazed at how much legalization on a federal level would bring us together as a nation

Notes Fan:

Honestly, it has too much momentum to be stopped. It will soon be legal in every state, D.C. and Puerto Rico. If they continue to insist it should remain illegal federally, they have an unprecedented hard road ahead of them.

Concludes Nicholson:

Like gay marriage

When do you think marijuana will be legalized federally? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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