Written By: Daniel Cina
Cannabis and its amazing community of users have faced harsh stereotyping, stigmatization, and incarceration, but over the years many of those attitudes have changed and these prejudices that the cannabis community faces are becoming weaker. The opinion on our favorite plant is rapidly changing and as a result President Joe Biden has delivered some exciting news from Washington D.C.
Joe Biden’s Cannabis Initiative
On October 7th, 2022 President Joe Biden made a statement that he is initiating the steps to address the dramatic change needed on federal cannabis laws and provide relief to the victims of The War On Drugs. The first step he has said he has taken to accomplish this is by granting a mass pardon to those who have violated federal cannabis possession laws and Joe Biden has encouraged state governors to do the same. Under Biden’s presidential pardon, approximately 6500 people will be freed and no longer be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result of their felony conviction for cannabis
The next step to Joe Biden’s move for cannabis regulation reform is the initiation of a review of the drug scheduling for cannabis. Cannabis currently sits at the top of the pyramid as a Schedule 1 drug alongside meth, heroin, ecstasy, and others. This review that would be done by the Justice Department, and Department of Health and Human Services is meant to address the position of cannabis in this pyramid or whether it should be scheduled at a lower level or even if it should be completely de-scheduled.
What These Steps Mean For Our Community
By issuing a major pardon Joe Biden has taken a major step in addressing the injustice to the many people imprisoned for federal cannabis convictions. It is something that the cannabis community has been tirelessly fighting for years, and why Nectar proudly supports The Last Prisoner Project who have been on the front lines in this battle fighting for those in the cannabis community who have been victims of these harsh laws on cannabis. While the fight in this still continues for those further affected by unjust federal cannabis laws, the fact that this Presidential Pardon took place is a great victory for our community.
While nothing has yet to change in terms of how cannabis is classified in its drug scheduling, by initiating a review Joe Biden is looking to take the first steps to reform how cannabis could be scheduled. Cannabis could potentially be classified in a much lower drug scheduling category, or potentially de-scheduled off the list of federally scheduled drugs altogether.
Either of these events occurring could fundamentally change how cannabis is regulated and policy decisions are made at a federal level, and should cannabis be de-scheduled then it would effectively end the 85 years of federal prohibition that has existed since 1937. This occurring would not mean legalization is in effect, but the result of this review could be the brickwork on the road to cannabis legalization.
This is a big victory for our community, and at Nectar we are excited for the future of the cannabis industry. While the war for cannabis legalization still continues, this is definitely a battle our community has won and justice is being given to those imprisoned for cannabis possession convictions. The gears of politics will continue to turn in Washington D.C. and soon we will have more information on where the results of this initiative are heading.
While this is all great news for our community, we all know how rough of a game politics is. Every political action performed has motivations behind it and whether those motivations behind a political action are genuine or disingenuous are up for each individual to decide. Our communities’ goals for cannabis must walk through the brutal arena that is American politics and as we all know that is no easy task.
We can cherish the great news we have received of Joe Biden beginning this initiative, and that justice is being served to those denied it, but the road ahead to cannabis legalization and further justice being done will still be long and certainly not easy. Nectar is proud to stand by our community in this effort, and the strength of this community is what we value most. We look to the future of our industry with bright eyes and great optimism thanks to the amazing community of cannabis users and non-profits like The Last Prisoner Project who advocate for cannabis reform.