The decriminalization and legalization of marijuana is hugely popular with Virginians of all political affiliations, as 68% of Commonwealth voters support the legalization of cannabis, according to polling firm Civiqs.
Most Virginians want legal weed, as do seven out of 10 Americans. It’s an idea as popular as it is in modern politics, with majorities in virtually every demographic supporting legalization.
Now, a Senate candidate is pushing again for President Joe Biden to decriminalize marijuana, which would mark a major first step toward legalization.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the state’s Democratic Senate nominee, called on Biden this week to use his executive power to decriminalize marijuana.
“It’s high time we finally decriminalized marijuana,” Fetterman said. said in a report. “The president must use his executive authority to start deprogramming marijuana.”
Fetterman’s comments come as several other Democrats have also pushed for Biden to decriminalize marijuana in recent months.
Under a 1970 law, marijuana — which is exponentially safer than alcohol and has led to no documented overdoses — is nationally illegal and is classified as a “Schedule I drug,” in the same group as heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Under federal drug policy, cannabis is considered more dangerous than cocaine and methamphetamine, which have been linked to the deaths of more than 57,000 Americans last year alone.
The federal government’s criminalization of cannabis as part of the failed “war on drugs” has disproportionately devastated black people, who are incarcerated for drug offenses at a rate 10 times higher than that of black people. Whites, even though they consume roughly the same rates.
Rather than fighting drug overdoses and saving lives, the government’s war on drugs has instead devastated millions of American families while driving a 500% increase in the US prison population since 1970. There are now over 2 million Americans in jail and jail – highest incarceration rate in the world— and overdose rates have actually increased exponentially since 1970.
Marijuana is fully legal for recreational use in Virginia, 18 other states, and Washington DC, and legal for medical use in 18 other states. But cannabis remains technically illegal nationwide, which has created headaches for states and cannabis dispensaries and allowed federal prosecutions of cannabis offenders to continue.
Federal decriminalization and legalization of marijuana is extremely popular with Virginians of all political affiliations, like 68% of Commonwealth voters support cannabis legalization, according to polling firm Civiqs.
Biden, who had campaigned on a promise to decriminalize marijuana, has yet to take meaningful action on the issue. In comments made last month, Biden said he plans to follow through on his promise to release those imprisoned for nonviolent federal marijuana offenses. He also added that he doesn’t believe Americans should be locked up for using cannabis and that he was working on a ‘crime bill’, although it’s unclear what legislation he was up to. reference.
House Democrats passed a bill earlier this year to decriminalize marijuana federally and erase cannabis-related criminal records. Only three House Republicans voted for the bill, which has yet to receive a vote in the Senate, where it risks being blocked by Senate Republicans.