Biden To Black College Students On Eve Of Midterms: Cannabis Reform 'Is In Your Hands'

Zinger Key Points
  • Biden told a group of students on the eve of Tuesday's midterms that the fate of cannabis reform rests on their votes.
  • A recent WH statement referred to discriminatory arrest patterns for cannabis possession.
Biden To Black College Students On Eve Of Midterms: Cannabis Reform 'Is In Your Hands'

President Joe Biden told a group of college students at a rally on the eve of Tuesday's important midterm elections that the fate of cannabis reform rests on their votes, reported Marijuana Moment. 

“With your vote, I’m keeping my promise [that] no one should be in jail for the mere possession of marijuana, and their record should be expunged,” Biden said at Bowie State University, one of the country’s 107 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“Remember, the power is in your hands,” Biden said. “You’re one of the reasons why I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future.”

Biden reiterated his October pardons of federal cannabis possession convictions and the promise that his administration will promote “equity and fairness in the justice system” to support the Black community.

In a separate statement, noted Marijuana Moment, the White House website underscored steps that have been taken to uplift Black Americans, which included  Biden’s cannabis pardon and a directive to undertake a review of marijuana’s federal scheduling status.

“President Biden believes that it is time that we acknowledge the legacy of systemic racism in our criminal justice system and work together to eliminate the racial disparities that endure to this day. Doing so serves all Americans,” per the document, posted on Nov. 6.

The statement included Biden’s campaign and oft’ repeated statement that no one should be incarcerated for possessing cannabis.

“President Biden repeatedly said during his campaign, no one should be in jail for using or possessing marijuana. Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit.”

The statement also referred to data from the ACLU and other civil rights groups that point out discriminatory arrest patterns for cannabis possession.

“In addition, although white and Black, and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates. The President recently took steps to end this failed approach and to begin to right these wrongs.”

The administration pointed to the federal cannabis pardons as a step toward righting these wrongs. Although only federal prisoners, not the tens of thousands of cannabis offenders in state prisons, the President has beseeched governors to do the same. Most, so far, have declined.

Photo courtesy of White House website.

Posted In: Black studentsJoe BidenMidterms electionsCannabisNewsPoliticsMarketsGeneral

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