In his first comments addressing cannabis since taking office, President Joe Biden (D) said on Saturday that his administration is working to fulfill a campaign pledge to release federal cannabis prisoners.
Asked about the issue by New York Post reporter Steven Nelson shortly after arriving at the White House via Marine One, the president said:
“I don’t think anyone should be in prison for the use of marijuana. We’re working on the crime bill now.” – President Biden, in a statement on the White House lawn
It was not immediately clear which piece of legislation the president was referencing, Marijuana Moment reported.
Earlier in July, six U.S. senators delivered a letter to the president asking him to deschedule cannabis and honor his campaign pledge to free and pardon non-violent federal cannabis prisoners.
But despite the administration’s stated intent, prospective White House interns are still being asked about their past cannabis use. Additionally, cannabis consumption is listed as an activity that “could affect eligibility,” even if the consumption happened in an area of the country where cannabis use has been legalized.
Biden’s previous cannabis actions have been limited to commuting the sentences of 75 nonviolent drug offenders, including some with cannabis-related charges, in recognition of Second Chance Month.
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President Biden Says He’s Working to Release Federal Cannabis Prisoners