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Biden’s Marijuana Reform Statement and its Implications

Just last week, Joe Biden made an unprecedented statement on marijuana reform. This statement announced three steps to reduce incarceration and criminal records for marijuana possession.


The first step is a pardon of “all prior Federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana.” Second, Biden urges all Governers to follow suit for state offenses. Finally, Biden is “asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to initiate the administrative process to review expeditiously how marijuana is scheduled under federal law,” meaning looking into changing the classification of marijuana to a less dangerous substance classification. Marijuana is currently in Schedule I along with drugs like LSD and heroin, despite less dangerous effects.


Biden explains that ““[w]hile white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people are arrested, prosecuted and convicted at disproportionately higher rates,” calling on the inequity of the current situation. President Biden’s actions “stopped short of calling for the complete decriminalization of marijuana, which is something that Congress would have to do.” Nevertheless, these statements are unprecedented and pose many questions and challenges for the future.


For one, these statements reflect the growing sentiment of a call for legalization in an increasing number of states. The medical use of marijuana is currently legalized in 39 states and DC, while recreational use is legal in DC and 19 states. There are currently a lack of standardized solutions to detect for cannabis impairment. Additionally, legalization will require changes in DUI and DWI laws.


While recreational use already is legalized in almost half of the US, Biden’s statement is indicative of impending changes. Luckily, Otorize was developed as a scientifically-backed app to test for impairment through a quick, non-invasive 5-second test. With the uncertain future as laws are created in conjunction with changing times, Otorize helps keep you and others safe, avoid damage, injury, or worse. Use our app to prevent impaired driving and share it with others to keep them safe.


Sources:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/10/06/statement-from-president-biden-on-marijuana-reform/

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/06/us/politics/biden-marijuana-pardon.html

https://mjbizdaily.com/map-of-us-marijuana-legalization-by-state/


Photo: https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-bidens-mass-marijuana-pardon-was-symbolic-further-reform-can-make-it-real/article_0fc3178c-23c8-5eca-aac5-f0c44ca884c9.html