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Biden Transition Plan Lacks Marijuana Reform, Despite Campaign Pledges
Marijuana reform advocates have been looking for signs that an incoming president-elect Joe Biden will make good on his campaign pledge to pursue cannabis policy changes since the former vice president has been projected to win the election. But they didn’t get any such sign in a new racial equity plan his transition team has put forward.
While Biden emphasized on the campaign trail that cannabis decriminalization and expungements would be part of his racial justice agenda, the plan released over the weekend omits any specific mention of marijuana reform.
The page says Biden is working to “strengthen America’s commitment to justice, and reform our criminal justice system” and lays out other specific promises that were often mentioned on the campaign trail alongside marijuana reform, such as a ban on police chokeholds and creating a national oversight commission to track law enforcement abuses. But cannabis reform is nowhere to be found in the transition team document.
Andrew Yang Says More States Will Legalize Marijuana, Join “Cool States” Club
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said on Wednesday that while President-elect Joe Biden has a “relatively middle-of-the-road” position on marijuana reform, he’s optimistic about the prospects of a federal policy change under the incoming administration.
At a National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) business summit, Yang also discussed his own political future, legalization as a means to boost the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, a cannabis strain that was named after him and the implications of state-level legalization victories on Election Day.
Yang is optimistic about the progress the marijuana legalization movement has been seeing, saying “I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled that progress is coming all the time. I think every time we have an election, there are going to be more states that want to join the ever-growing, cool states club.”
Feds Note Celebs’ Marijuana Views in COVID Spokesperson Evaluations
The Trump administration appears to have considered celebrities’ views on marijuana legalization and drug use to be relevant factors when selecting spokespeople to participate in a public education campaign on coronavirus prevention, internal documents show.
Marijuana specifically came up in the notes section for four would-be celebrity spokespersons: Seth Rogen, Seth McFarlane, Kelly Clarkson and Armie Hammer. Others were flagged more broadly for drug reform stances or past drug crimes.
While it does not necessarily seem that these notes on each celebrity’s backgrounds indicated they would be disqualified from participating in the COVID-focused PSA that never ultimately materialized, it indicates that political ideologies such as support for marijuana legalization were areas of interest to the administration.
None of the celebrities with drug-related notes on the tracker list seem to have agreed to participate. Of the select few public figures who did agree, they all later declined the opportunity.
Mexican Senators Will Vote On Revised Marijuana Legalization Bill This Week
Mexican senators are circulating a revised draft bill to legalize marijuana nationwide, and several committees are set to hold a joint hearing on the legislation on Friday. The plan is to move the proposal to the full Senate floor as soon as this coming Tuesday.
The proposal would establish a regulated cannabis market in Mexico, allowing adults 18 and older to purchase and possess up to 28 grams of marijuana and cultivate up to four plants for personal use, according to a draft dated November 8 that was obtained by Marijuana Moment.
But adults would have to obtain a license from regulators in order to legally consume cannabis.
Lawmakers have been working on the reform legislation for two years since the nation’s Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that the prohibition on possessing and growing cannabis is unconstitutional. The current deadline to legalize marijuana is December 15.
Texas Lawmakers Propose Medical and Recreational Legalization
Houston’s ABC13 reports that support is growing for legal marijuana in Texas, but there are two key differences in what some lawmakers are trying to accomplish.
Texas State senator Jose Menedez and District 27 Rep. Ron Reynolds have proposed legislation to expand the use of medical marijuana.
State Representative Roland Gutierrez out of San Antonio is proposing a bill to legalize marijuana.
He says the industry would create 30,000 new jobs in Texas and bring in more than $3 billion in revenue.