Let’s take our trademarked dive into some state updates on legalization efforts across the country.
We’ll begin at the federal level, where Biden seems to be wavering and then unwavering in his stance.
Word broke last week that past marijuana use was at least somewhat responsible for the firings of five White House staffers. The heat on that story is only building, so it seems likely he’ll have to take a more firm stance on marijuana use in the workplace, at the very least.
A new video has also come out that includes a discussion with Stacey Walker, who was on the joint task force that would inform Biden’s criminal justice platform ahead of his nomination as the Democratic candidate. Apparently, his stance against the legalization of marijuana at the time was heavily influenced by fear of losing middle class votes.
SCOOP: Joe Biden, behind closed doors last summer, personally rejected a push to make legalizing cannabis the official policy of the Democratic Party.
Now the Biden White House is disqualifying staffers because they smoked weed. pic.twitter.com/I1pM2KDY8u
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) March 19, 2021
In the grand scheme, this seems to be a positive, and once President Biden sees the vast support for legalization, a change of heart is quite possible.
Now on a state level, some progress has been made in North Dakota.
A bill to legalize recreational use has passed the House, and is gearing up to pass through the Senate in the state. The state already has medical marijuana use, but this would open it up for anyone over 21 to have up to 1 ounce of marijuana within private property. It’s expected to be signed into law within this current session.
But then the snags.
New Mexico has been on the path to legalization, and the legalization bill, HB 12, was constantly delayed throughout the week as they continued making amendments. Saturday, Senators had finally planned to hear the bill in the State Senate. However, they adjourned before it was brought up.
The Governor vowed to call them back for a special session in order to hear the bill.
“We’re going to have a special session in a week or so, and we’re going to get cannabis because I am not going to wait another year,” says Governor Lujan Grisham. “We’re going to win it and it’s going to have the social justice aspects that we know have to be in a package.”
The plan is for the special session to be held on March 31st.
Finally, New York is seemingly on the path to legalizing before the end of the month after it was agreed that revenue from marijuana would be returned to minority communities most impacted by criminalization.