Top Political Figures Discuss Federal Cannabis Reform In The United States

Sen. Bernie Sanders has gone on to share some of his thoughts about Joe Biden in regards to cannabis reform. Sanders says President Joe Biden has the ability to end cannabis prohibition if he so chooses. Yet both parties have opposing views on the matter when it comes to drug policy.

On a podcast that took place not long ago, Bernie Sanders mentioned there is not much the President can do by himself. This was said in regards to drug policy. However, right after the host of the podcast, Krystal Ball started mentioning things Biden could do with executive action. For example, changing cannabis’s federal classification, Sanders replied that “yes” he could do that.

When Sanders tried his hand at running for president back in 2020 he as well made the promise to legalize marijuana nationwide. That approach has been challenged by some people. Yet, as there are unique hurdles affiliated with the president taking action to eliminate cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act on his own

To reschedule cannabis through the executive branch, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services or an outside party would have to file a petition. Which could also be done by an outside party and after would then be reviewed by the attorney general. The attorney general typically assigns that responsibility to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The Next Approach For Cannabis Legislation

The attorney general also has the power to begin the process on their own. This can be done by asking for a scientific review directly from HHS. Following HHS, the Food and Drug Administration would then evaluate the scientific, medical, and public health implications. A task that was carried out before submitting that review to the Justice Department.Which would then effectuate the proper reclassification under federal law.


Nonetheless, even if the President had the legal say so to legalize cannabis federally it would arrive at more challenges. For instance, if this did happen there stands a chance it may not even get that far if done by himself. Sanders regarded in the recent podcast interview that Joe Biden does not share his outlook on ending federal cannabis prohibition.

[Read More] The President Maintains His Stance On Broader Cannabis Reform

Words From The President and Bernie Sanders

“Joe Biden and I on marijuana—I think the war on drugs has been just a disaster for this country, for the African-American community,” Sanders later said. “I think it should end. I think marijuana should be legalized. We do [could] that fairly simply. But yeah, so we have differences.”

[Read More] Chuck Schumer Is Working Out A Plan To Federally Legalize Marijuana

Final Thoughts On Federal Cannabis Reform Between Biden And Sanders

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said back in July that “nothing has changed”. This was said in regards to the president’s opposing stance on legalizing the adult use of marijuana. Still, the group of politicians behind a proposal to federally reschedule cannabis is taking action. This is being done by speaking about the policy change with the White House in hopes of changing Biden’s mind.


In any event, Biden during his recent presidential run made a promise to pass modest reforms. For instance such as decriminalizing cannabis possession, expunging prior records. As well as respecting the rights of states to set their own laws.

Since Biden has made his way into the White House office, his organization has not made progress on any of those promises. Rather he fired his own White House staffers over marijuana. To which Biden then attempted to extend a budget provision that has blocked Washington, D.C. from legalizing cannabis sales.

Advocates have piercingly scrutinized the administration for failing to take action to pass the promised reforms. As of now, it seems more of a reality that it will be left up to Congress to achieve this mission. Also whether there’s sufficient backing to pass comprehensive legalization is another mystery that has yet to be solved. Especially in a Senate where Democrats hold just a slim majority.

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