Regulatory Update: Congress Asks Biden To Pardon Cannabis Offenses; California, Pennsylvania, Malta

Congress Members Ask President Biden To Pardon Federal Cannabis Offenses

Thirty-seven members of Congress have issued a letter to President Joe Biden, asking for a blanket pardon to those with federal nonviolent cannabis-related offenses. (h/t NORML)

The letter was first signed by Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chairs Barbara Lee and Earl Blumenauer, who led the initiative.

The lawmakers wrote:

  • “During your previous tenure at the White House, President Obama understood that decades of harsh and discriminatory federal drug laws unfairly trapped minority individuals and communities in cycles of despair. That is why he used the tools of justice to grant clemency for 1,927 individuals convicted of federal crimes. Most of these individuals had been convicted on drug charges and would not have been sentenced so harshly, if at all, under today’s standards.”
  • “During your campaign, you committed that you would “automatically expunge all past marijuana convictions for use and possession.” Therefore, we urge you to grant executive clemency for all non-violent cannabis offenders. We look forward to working with you and the incoming Attorney General on quickly making this a reality.”

It is estimated there are millions the U.S. citizens with cannabis-related arrests and criminal convictions, many of whom are very young, or a part of a minority group.

California Bill Proposes Legalization Of Specific Psychedelics

A new Senate bill that proposes the legalization of possession of specific psychedelics in California was presented on Wednesday.

The bill was filed by Senator Scott Wiener and three Assembly cosponsors (h/t Marijuana Moment).

Under the new legislation, the possession of magic mushrooms, LSD and DMT would be legal, and also people with criminal records in relation to the possession or use of these psychedelics could ask for expungement.

What’s more, the bill proposes forming a group that will tackle the issues of potential future regulatory structures for psychedelics.

Other psychedelics covered in the legislation count ketamine, mescaline, MDMA, and ibogaine.

Social sharing would also become legal.

“Policy should be based on science and common sense, not fear and stigma,” Wiener stated. “The War on Drugs and mass incarceration are destructive and failed policies, and we must end them. Moreover, given the severity of our mental health crisis, we shouldn’t be criminalizing people for using drugs that have shown significant promise in treating mental health conditions.”

It's worth noting that the Senator’s office says the bill is not supposed to mimic a "cannabis model," or to create the ground for retail trade in psychedelics. It is, however, aimed at helping to “end the failed War on Drugs approach to addressing psychedelics while building on the science and research in the psychedelic field to create the potential for a therapeutic framework that could help people struggling from the effects of depression, anxiety, PTSD and other health conditions.”

Pennsylvania Governor Urges Cannabis Legalization

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has often expressed his support for cannabis legalization (h/t High Times).

The latest push came in a series of tweets, by which Wolf repeated his appeal to end prohibition in recreational cannabis use.

Revenue from the adult-use market would significantly help the Keystone State economy recover from the damages caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, he explained.

“I want to see Pennsylvania begin the process to legalize adult-use marijuana this year,” Wolf said Wednesday morning. “The profits from this measure would be used to help us recover from COVID. Plus, it’s past time that we restore justice to those harmed by marijuana criminalization.”

In another tweet, Wolf noted that legislators should aim to “keep up with other states and legalize adult-use marijuana.”

Malta’s Prime Minister Says Cannabis May Be Decriminalized

Robert Abela, the Prime Minister of Malta revealed on Thursday that the government works on legalizing “responsible use” of cannabis. (h/t leafie)

“The reform proposes the elimination of police arrests on cannabis for personal use,” the Prime Minister’s office told Lovin Malta in a written statement.

According to Abela, cannabis consumers may soon be allowed to cultivate their own plants as well.

This is the first time that a government official in Malta has provided “a clear indication of the direction the promised reform will take.”

“By pushing up the limits of possession to reasonable levels, users will avoid police interrogation and legal proceedings. Government is also considering allowing the cultivation of a small number of plants strictly for personal use.”

Malta recently hit the headlines for the arrest of a couple caught with cannabis on Valentine’s Day. The arrest was welcomed with strong and widespread disapproval.  

Roberta Metsola, Member of the European Parliament representing Malta, tweeted: “Are we really still charging teenagers for smoking a joint? If only we went after the corrupt with the same fervour, our country might just move forward…”

Posted In: cannabis industryCoronaviruslegal weedMaltaMalta cannabismarijuana reformpennsylvania weedpsychedelicsCannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsMediaGeneral

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.