Last week, President Joseph Biden announced that individuals convicted of simple cannabis possession under federal law would be pardoned of their convictions. This proclamation thrust the country’s marijuana policy into the limelight, with the president also urging governors to pardon those convicted of the same under state law.
At the moment, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. All substances classified under this schedule are thought to have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use. Other substances under this schedule include LSD and heroin.
This classification is difficult to understand, especially if one considers the fact that marijuana’s categorization is even harsher than that of methamphetamine and fentanyl, which are currently driving the country’s overdose epidemic. During his announcement, Biden stated that classification made no sense then directed that the health secretary and attorney general conduct a review on whether marijuana should be classified as a less-serious substance.
Biden added that many lives have been upended because of the country’s failed approach to cannabis, noting that the time had come to right these wrongs. His announcement, which surprised many, greatly influenced cannabis stocks.
Advocates believe that this move brings the country closer to providing relief to those affected by the war on drugs, which began in the 1970s. They add that it is also the first step to bringing the burgeoning billion-dollar industry out of the shadows.
It should be noted though that the pardon on simple possession is limited in scope. Currently, only 6,500 individuals who have federal convictions and some residents in Washington, DC, are eligible for pardon. Additionally, presidential pardons can only be applied to federal charges, which isn’t as effective at this point in time given that most convictions for possession are at the local and state level.
If the review calls for the reclassification of marijuana, the federal government will have to catch up with reforms that have already been approved in various states across the country. Currently, the District of Columbia and 37 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana while 19 states have legalized the recreational use of the drug. This represents more than 40% of the country’s population.
Voters in five other states — South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Maryland and Arkansas — are set to vote on measures to allow the recreational use of marijuana. Additionally, four separate ballot referendums are expected in the coming years. If all these jurisdictions pass cannabis reform policies, there will be a bigger market for entities such as REZYFi Inc., which is bridging the financing gaps created by the reluctance of mainstream banks to work with marijuana businesses.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to REZYFi, Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/REZY
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