The former U.S Vice President, Joe Biden, revealed in July that it is up for running for the 2020 presidential campaign. However, his stance on the legalization of cannabis could play a negative role for cannabis users and providers.
It is 2019. It’s the modern era, and several countries have evolved on their stance about the legalization of cannabis and marijuana. A great example that is considered to have served as an inspiration for many U.S candidates running for the President, such as Cory Bookers, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders, is that of Justin Trudeau’s. The Canadian Prime Minister’s campaign back in 2015 portrayed him as a proponent of legalizing marijuana, which just may have affected the voters that worked in his favor.
On the other hand, Joe Biden, who has seemingly taken the American war on drugs to a new level, resulting in possibly more damage than peace. During his forty long years as part of the Senate, his stance on the subject of ‘legal cannabis’ has remained strictly opposing and unmoved. He has been the only key architect of adopting punitive measures and penalties against non-violent drug users.
Today, he may be nowhere near being a supporter of cannabis legalization- recreational or commercialized use of pot- and is instead rooting for decriminalization. There’s more. He is proposing a legal plan that could make sure that cannabis (marijuana) is re-classified as ‘Schedule II’ substance under the CSA (Controlled Substances Act), alongside prescription opiates and cocaine.
Attaining the label of Schedule II would be much worse than the current Substance I classification, making cannabis a drug that inflicts ‘extreme psychological and bodily dependence’. Joe also firmly believes that no variety of the cannabis plant has the potential of contributing to human health positively and seems to be determined to create a legal justice system that makes the drug inaccessible.
Well, his stance seems very harsh and even extreme, considering the views of the American public. According to a national survey by Gallup, a record high number of American citizens wish to have ‘adult-use weed’ legalized throughout the United States.
In addition to restricting users’ access, Biden’s policies would also massively impact the growing and thriving weed industry in America. This has members of the weed industry, both small and big weed entrepreneurs, worried about the future of their businesses. Enforcement of the Schedule II status would essentially rip cannabis out of the hands of current sellers and producers, handing over control to the corporate interests.
His stance could crash the legal weed market, resulting in the blow-up of about 90 percent of the existing traditional and regulated market. This is a huge figure, and so is the one that accounts for the number of businesses operating in the cannabis industry.
After proposing this policy, Biden faced widespread criticism, to which he responded by playing safe and communicating through an aide that “he very much believes that we need more research and [to] study the positive and negative impact of cannabis use” and that “no one should be in jail because of cannabis use”. His proposal isn’t likely to do that. With Joe’s election as President (if it happens), the cannabis industry could, more aptly, diminish.