Joe Biden & Kamala Harris on Marijuana: Will They Decriminalize?
Amid ongoing legal disputes, it looks like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have secured the Presidency and Vice Presidency respectively. But what does this mean for cannabis legalization?
Yesterday, the media tentatively declared Joe Biden the 46th President of the United States, following his electoral win against the incumbent President Donald Trump. Admittedly, legal battles have been launched from the Trump campaign in several battleground states, seeking to address alleged misconduct throughout the voting process.
As such, the election isn’t technically “over,” however, let’s explore what a Biden/Harris administration means for cannabis legalization moving forward.
While we’ve covered both Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’s respective stances on cannabis, as well as the slight fluctuations in their shared policy views, recent events may have changed the need for both candidates to focus on cannabis.
On November 3rd, a green tidal wave of cannabis legalization occurred throughout the U.S., which saw five states, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, Arizona, and Mississipi legalizing either recreational or medicinal marijuana.
This “green wave” is important because it affirms for both parties, and in this case, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, that the majority of Americans do want cannabis to be made legal. As we’ve covered previously, Joe Biden favours decriminalizing cannabis, and Kamala Harris does too, despite having previously favoured all-out federal legalization.
While many cannabis advocates argued that these stances were too tepid and didn’t go far enough to address the injustices brought about by the War on Drugs, the recent green wave nonetheless shows the wants and desires of the American people, and that includes cannabis.
This, at the very least, should incentivise both Biden and Harris to ensure they follow through with decriminalization, if not, to even go a step further and push for federal legalization.
Because, while decriminalization is indeed a favourable step forward, the federal legalization of marijuana will remove many of the barriers that cannabis companies face, particularly in the case of multi-state operators.