Last month New York became the 15th State (in addition to Washington, DC) to legalize recreational use of the pot. The bill that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed includes detailed provisions to address racial equity issues. It not only overturns previous convictions for marijuana-related offenses, but it also ensures that 40 cents of every dollar in tax revenue from the sale of jars will go to minority communities that have been hit hardest by the aftermath of the drug. drug repression.
Congress is also on the move. On Monday, the House easily passed a bill that would eliminate federal laws that criminalize banks dealing with marijuana companies in states that have legalized the weed trade; 106 Republicans joined a United Democratic conference to vote for the bill.
But Mr Schumer has indicated he is loath to pass a smaller bill when he really seeks full legalization. “I have always been of the opinion that while we certainly have to deal with the banking and financial issues, we should do them at the same time as legalization,” he told Marijuana Moment.
The one major Democratic figure who has yet to come up with legalizing weed is the most prominent of all: President Biden. He said during the election campaign that he would support its decriminalization, but felt that more study was needed before he felt comfortable fully legalizing it. Asked about legalization last month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president’s position “has not changed.”
As you may remember reading in this newsletter, White House Biden recently fired five staff at least in part because of their previous use of marijuana. Mr Biden, who was the architect of some of the most punitive laws passed during the War on Drugs, has been slow to follow the Democratic Party’s change of mind on marijuana policy.
Bonita Bo Money, founder of the National Diversity and Inclusion Cannabis Alliance, said her group and others who had supported Biden’s presidential campaign last year were waiting for him to fully support legalization. “It is not moving as we think it is,” she said of the administration’s position.
Likewise, Ms Money said she was concerned that legalization would happen too quickly, stressing the importance of developing a strong plan to create a pipeline in the cannabis industry for people from communities of color. Before the Biden administration embarked on legalization, she said, she hoped it would create “a good social equity agenda.”