Last week, a pair of cabinet members in the Biden administration discussed the president’s new marijuana initiative. Cabinet members and legislators, as well as advocates and state officials, have widely praised President Joseph Biden for his action.
Marty Walsh, U.S. Labor Secretary, stated in an interview with Yahoo Finance that officials were working hard to make sure that individuals who received pardons for federal cannabis offenses under the decree made by President Biden weren’t hindered from employment opportunities in the future. Walsh explained that the Department of Labor was focused on ensuring that what the president said was carried out, noting that individuals of color made up a disproportionate fraction of those who had been criminalized over marijuana.
Walsh, the former mayor of Boston, had opposed the ballot measure introduced in 2016 to legalize cannabis in Massachusetts. Walsh also voted against a party plank by the Democratic National Committee that endorsed the initiative.
Last week Biden observed the workforce implications of marijuana convictions, noting that thousands of individuals who had been convicted of simple possession who may have been denied housing, educational or employment opportunities as a result of their conviction, would be granted relief under his edict. Separately, Xavier Becerra, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, also discussed Biden’s directive to agencies to carry out an administrative review of marijuana’s scheduling status. The health secretary stated that officials would work as fast as they could to finish the analysis, which would probably result in a recommendation to de-schedule or reschedule cannabis.
Becerra added that he’s already spoken to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf about starting the process. Becerra also stated in a tweet that he anticipated working with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to answer the president’s call to action to review how cannabis was scheduled federally.
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice also stated that the department would quickly administer the president’s proclamation, which pardoned people who engaged in simple cannabis possession by restoring the civil, political and other rights of individuals convicted of this particular offense.
Further, Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, praised Biden’s decree, observing that it was clear that the currently used cannabis laws hadn’t worked and a new approach was needed.
The comments of support from agency officials show that the Biden administration is keen on following through on the reform that was announced, with roughly a month left to Election Day.
These social justice efforts are part of what the marijuana industry and entities such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) have longed to see being implemented so that the country can move on and heal from the adverse effects of prohibition.
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