Joe Biden keeps trying to block weed sales in Washington DC — but Democrats aren't going to let him get away with it

Joe Biden keeps trying to block weed sales in Washington DC — but Democrats aren't going to let him get away with it

What is Biden's beef with weed?

VicesJune 24, 2021 By Will Brendza

Despite his campaign promises to take meaningful action on cannabis reform, Joe Biden — who helped establish the drug czar’s office during his time in congress, who has never expressed support of adult-use legalization, and who helped author the 1994 crime bill — is again trying to block cannabis sales in Washington DC.

However congressional Democrats aren’t going to allow him to do that.  

No one is really surprised by the fact that Biden is standing in the way of DC’s cannabis sales. But many are frustrated by the move. Which isn’t supportive of cannabis reform, or even indifferent to it — this seems like an outright hostile move from the sitting president. Legalization legislation is sweeping across different states, and even the capital city itself (which Joe Biden has supported statehood for) has voted to legalize cannabis recreationally.

And yet Uncle Joe just can’t let his grip on the drug war go. He’s still fighting — even if everyone else has already put down their gloves and gone home.

In his budget proposal last month Biden maintained a rider that prohibits DC from using its own tax dollars to legalize cannabis commerce. A rider that both Trump and Obama proposed ending entirely in their own budget proposals — but which congress upheld regardless.

But not this time. This time, congressional Democrats are not going to stand with the rider and won’t allow Biden’s budget to pass with it. Legislation from House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee Chairman Mike Quigley (D-IL) would remove that barrier from the budget proposal.

Making the adult use market in Washington DC, and real and legal thing.

“The House appropriations package thankfully did not follow President Biden’s misguided effort to prohibit D.C. from implementing an adult-use cannabis marketplace,” Justin Strekal, the NORML Political Director told Marijuana Moment. “In order to provide safe, legal and affordable marijuana to consumers in the nation’s Capital, Congress must pass a clean bill.”

Why is Biden still fighting to make cannabis legalization such a pain in America’s ass? It’s clearly a very profitable industry, it has serious medical applications and benefits, it provides jobs, huge tax revenue and 45 different states have already legalized some form of cannabis on their own. What’s Biden’s beef with weed?

There are a thousand different possible answers to that question, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. The facts are: our president is anti-marijuana legalization, despite the culture and the Will of The People being for it. He has never been serious about cannabis reform, despite his promises on the campaign trail. And as long as he’s in office, he isn’t going to make cannabis legalization at a Federal level easy.

Which could make it damn-near-impossible — the buck stops with him. Even if reform legislation like the MORE Act, or the SAFE Act make it through congress, this latest stunt by Joe Biden, makes it seem unlikely that any legislation proposing serious cannabis reform would get his signature on it.