A White House spokesperson said that Biden might be at odds with the Democratic leadership in Congress.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden appears to be opposed to rapid marijuana legalization for the entire country. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press briefing on July 14 that the president currently “opposes marijuana legalization,” and that his position on the policy debate further places him at odds with leadership in Congress, in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation co-sponsored by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that would allow states to have the right to legalize marijuana if they want to or not. Reporters asked Psaki about Schumer’s bill, but she replied by indicating that Biden’s position on marijuana legalization hasn’t changed. The president, however, has previously supported the concept of marijuana decriminalization but hasn’t taken any action so far.
“I have spoken in the past about the president’s views on marijuana,” Psaki told reporters. She added, “nothing has changed. There’s no new endorsement of legislation to report today.” However, Psaki contended that she hadn’t discussed the new bill from the Senate with the president and his advisers. At the beginning of the term, Schumer said that marijuana legalization and decriminalization is a policy goal for his tenure. He also told NBC News in an interview that marijuana legalization is a top priority for Democrats.
“For the first time, I as majority leader, Senator Wyden as the Chairman of the Finance Committee and Senator Booker, one of the foremost champions for justice and equity here in the Senate, we are all joining together to release draft legislation to end the federal prohibition on cannabis,” said Schumer during a press conference announcing the proposal. “This is monumental because at long last we are taking steps in the Senate to right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs.”