In the “day of history and hope” that President Biden articulated in his inaugural speech, many in the cannabis industry hoped his new administration would absorb the words from our American treasure, Amanda Gorman, who told us “what ‘just is’ isn’t always justice.”
Nothing makes the young poet laureate’s point better than the federal government’s cannabis policy, itself a monument to injustice.
We know that President Biden’s immediate focus needs to be on the nation’s crisis agenda: turning back the pandemic, restoring our economy and repelling the attacks on our democracy. We only expect that once the administration gains the upper hand in the American renewal, it can find the time and create a space to unwind the drug war, starting with a rethinking of national cannabis policy.
Compared with the other issues that it confronts, this should be an easy challenge. The president, after all, would be aligning himself with the vast majority of the American public. According to a post-election Gallup Poll, a full 68% of Americans favor the expanded legalization of cannabis. Red state, blue state, purple state — it doesn’t matter. Voters in South Dakota and Montana were among four states, along with Arizona and New Jersey, that on Nov. 3 fully legalized cannabis for adult use. The number of states legal for adult use has climbed to 15, plus the District of Columbia. All but six states, meanwhile, have approved medicinal use of cannabis.