President Biden's recent announcement and pardoning of federal cannabis possession convictions and directing a review of cannabis scheduling at the federal level came with much fanfare and celebration. The announcement included a request by the President for state Governors to also consider a review of their cannabis policies, but that could not possibly mean any less. The nod toward taking action of any kind with regard to loosening the Federal Government's stance on cannabis is encouraging. To think that this action is anything more than a nod would be overenthusiastic. To see any true action on the matter at the federal level will undoubtedly require congressional action.
Officials within the Biden administration readily admit that no one will actually be freed from jail as a result of this action. Administration estimates are that approximately 6,500 individuals will benefit from this action by allowing them access to housing assistance, student aid and other programs that the conviction prevented them from taking advantage of. We should all be thrilled that even several thousand people are getting relief from the damage caused to their lives and reputations as a result of the drug war. We should be also be vigilant when politicians are making big announcements with effects that are not proportional to the size of the trumpet they are using to make the announcement.
In actuality - this move by President Biden helps only those 6,500 individuals with PRIOR cannabis possession convictions at the federal level. There has been no mention of preventing future arrests and prosecutions for cannabis possession. There has been no mention of doing anything to allow for safe banking in the fledgling cannabis industry. There has been no mention of allowing and requiring medical cannabis coverage by insurance companies. These are things that would directly improve the lives of MILLIONS, not just a few thousand.
Congressional action will be required to see any real progress. The House of Representatives has passed legislation to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis numerous times over the years. Even as recently as April 1 of this year the House passed a bill of this nature. This was the second time the House voted to pass this particular bill. None of the bills to legalize cannabis at the federal level have ever had a real chance of passing the Senate and making its way to a presidential desk.
I am encouraging each and every cannabis consumer, grower, processor, fanatic, supporter or casual observer to reach out to your Senators and direct them to take up the cause, they work for us - we should be telling them what to do. Without support in the Senate significant progress toward legalizing and destigmatizing will never happen. Feel free to copy and paste the simple example below and send it along to your Senator.
I am writing to you today to make known my opinion regarding an important issue that touches on matters of racial, social and economic equality. For far too long cannabis users that are minorities, socially or economically disadvantaged have been the victims of the American war on drugs. It is imperative that Senate take action immediately to either A) pass legislation sent to the upper chamber by the House of Representatives or B) pass Senate legislation achieving similar goals of legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis in a manner that is fair to all.
This legislation should de-schedule cannabis at the federal level putting it on the same level as alcohol and tobacco. This legislation should immediately remove any and all impediments to American banks treating legal cannabis businesses like all other businesses. Finally the legislation should leave each state free to determine their own future with cannabis, just as with alcohol.
Thank you for your time Senator-
A Responsible Cannabis User and Advocate.
If the offices of all 100 senators were flooded with similar requests numbering in the millions, we would see federally legal cannabis by the end of 2023. I've already sent mine, multiple times. One more time, in case you missed it... here's how to find your Senator: CLICK HERE ... Send that email, change our world!