Joe Biden's daughter-in-law, with Secret Service protection in tow, was seen buying entering and leaving a cannabis dispensary in California, according to the Daily Mail.
Melissa Cohen, who is married to Biden's son Hunter was leaving a Malibu dispensary called 99 High Tide with a "small unidentified purchase."
Although cannabis is legal in California, it remains illegal at the federal level. The issue is not whether Cohen consumes marijuana, but the apparent use of a federal secret service team to protect the transaction seems a bit much, especially in view of the fact that Biden has not moved on his promise to decriminalize cannabis and free non-violent pot prisoners.
The president has said on numerous occasions that he does not believe people should be incarcerated for cannabis. He's also expressed support for allowing states to set their own marijuana policies without federal intervention, yet he has not taken action to end federal criminalization as promised on the campaign trail.
This past April, the president granted clemency to 78 people, including a small number with federal nonviolent drug convictions. Advocates are calling for sweeping executive action, such as a mass pardon.
It is worth noting that though the Daily Mail reported that the person in civilian clothing with Cohen at the cannabis shop was a Secret Service agent, this could not be independently confirmed. It is also possible that Cohen bought non-cannabis items from the dispensary such as federally legal hemp.
“I hope that Melissa had a positive experience and will convey the normalcy of buying cannabis to the president and encourage his vocal support for legalization,” said Justin Strekal, founder of BOWL PAC.
Despite Biden's opposition to legalizing recreational marijuana, lawmakers in Congress have been and continue to work to end federal prohibition.
Thus far, the White House has not commented on The Daily Mail's report.
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