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Kamala Harris Mentions Cannabis Reform For The First Time Since The Election

In a significant departure from the administration’s previous stance, Vice President Kamala Harris has openly called for the legalization of marijuana, marking a potential shift in policy as the November elections loom. Speaking to a group of cannabis pardon recipients at the White House, Harris asserted, “we need to legalize marijuana,” according to an attendee.

Harris’s advocacy for marijuana reform follows earlier remarks urging the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to promptly reschedule cannabis during a closed-door roundtable with clemency beneficiaries. However, it was her impassioned plea for ending federal cannabis prohibition that captured attention, emphasizing a departure from the administration’s previous, more limited platform on the issue.

While Harris had previously sponsored a marijuana legalization bill as a senator and championed the cause during her 2020 presidential campaign, her alignment with President Joe Biden’s stance during the election and vice presidency had been more restrained. The administration had primarily focused on initiatives such as pardoning certain cannabis offenses and ending incarceration for marijuana use.

Chris Goldstein, a pardon recipient present at the White House meeting, described Harris’s declaration as meaningful, emphasizing the administration’s apparent commitment to engaging consistently on cannabis policy.

Despite Harris’s vocal support for rescheduling marijuana and advocating for legalization, it’s notable that her statements were made behind closed doors. This highlights the complexity of the administration’s position, with neither Harris nor Biden fully embracing federal legalization, as reiterated by the White House on several occasions.

While Harris’s call for rescheduling marijuana to Schedule III underscores progress, it falls short of federal legalization. Nevertheless, her advocacy signals a potentially significant shift in the administration’s approach to cannabis policy, particularly as the issue gains bipartisan traction.

As the administration navigates its stance on cannabis, questions linger regarding the timing and scope of potential reforms. The Biden-initiated review into marijuana scheduling remains ongoing, with uncertainty surrounding the DEA’s response to recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

While the road to federal legalization may be uncertain, Harris’s advocacy reflects a broader trend toward reform, with states like Massachusetts moving to pardon individuals with marijuana convictions—a step aligned with Biden’s call for state-level clemency. As the debate around cannabis continues, the administration’s evolving stance promises to be a pivotal issue in the upcoming elections.

Read the whole article from MarijuanaMoment here.

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