Will Biden approve a law to legalize cannabis when it gets to his desk?
White House press secretary Jen Psaki answered various questions about cannabis legalization on unofficial cannabis holiday 4/20 and refused to clarify whether or not President Joe Biden would sign a bill to legalize cannabis at the federal level.
When asked if Biden would sign the law to lift the federal cannabis ban if Congress approves it, Psaki said he supported states’ rights to do so.
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“The President supports letting states make decisions about legalization for recreational use, rescheduling cannabis as a List II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative effects, and at the federal level supports the decriminalization of marijuana use and the automatic expulsion of previous criminal records, ”she said. “He also supports the legalization of medical marijuana, so he makes his point on this.”
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The question came back more straightforward and precise, trying to figure out what Biden would actually do when the bill reached his desk, to which Psaki hinted that he was not inclined to approve it, and went on to explain, “I just sketched what his Position is not the same as what the House and Senate have proposed, but they haven’t passed any law yet. “
Just last week Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced his plans to soon enact law to legalize cannabis at the federal level.
“I’ll be putting this bill on the floor soon. It has not yet been introduced, ”said Schumer, noting that he had worked with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) on the draft measure. “As soon as it’s in place, it will hit the ground,” said Schumer.
SAFE Banking Act and Request for Further Research
Regarding the SAFE Banking Act, which was approved for the fourth time by the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday, Psaki noted that she is unfamiliar with the president’s stance and needs to follow up on the response, the outlet reported.
Psaki pointed out that while Biden supports the decriminalization and legalization of medicinal cannabis, he calls for more research on the effects of legalizing recreational use.
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“He’ll look at the research as soon as it’s finished,” said Psaki. “Of course we understand the movement that is coming. I speak for his position and how long his position has always been. He wants to decriminalize, but he will go back to researching the positive and negative effects. “
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Analyst optimistic about legalization
Jaret Seiberg, an analyst at Cowen, said on a Monday note that it doesn’t matter what the president thinks about cannabis. When it reaches his desk, he will sign, Forbes reported.
“We believe that President Biden is too much in focus. It doesn’t matter how he views legalization, ”wrote Seiberg. “He’ll sign the law regardless of which cannabis law the Democratic Congress sends him. Legalization may not be Biden’s priority, but it won’t be an obstacle to its becoming law. “
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Seiberg saw the challenge of getting the 10 Republican votes needed to win. “That is why the lobbying efforts of the industry are crucial. Legalization can no longer be stopped once the Senate has received 10 GOP votes. “
However, Cowen is thrilled to overcome these difficulties and see the bill passed in Congress.
Schumer shares the optimism: “Hopefully next time, when this unofficial holiday 420 goes around, our country will have made progress in a meaningful and comprehensive fight against the massive over-criminalization of marijuana.”
This article originally appeared on Benzinga and was republished with permission.