President Joe Biden may be warming up to the idea of federal marijuana reform
According to several revealing comments during an interview published yesterday, Rahul Gupta, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), said that the White House and Joe Biden’s administration are looking closely at states that have so far said yes to legal marijuana to inform federal policy. It appears that the administration is beginning to recognize some of the flaws in the current prohibitionist approach.
During the interview published by Financial Times, Gupta also made it clear that the federal government is looking at some broader proposals related to harm reduction in drug policy. This means that issues such as the authorization of supervised consumption sites and even possible decriminalization are on the high table.
“We’re learning from those states [that have enacted cannabis reform],” Gupta said. “We’re monitoring the data and trying to see where things go. But one thing is very clear, and the president has been clear about that-the policies that we’ve had around marijuana have not been working.”
While it is true that the current president’s campaign was based on a cannabis platform of decriminalization, rescheduling, respect for states’ rights and other modest reforms, Biden still continues to show an oppositional stance toward legalizing recreational marijuana. It appears that the US president still has a lot of work to do if he really wants to deliver on his earlier promises.
Gupta used the interview to also emphasize when it comes to broader drug policy, “for the first time in history, the federal government is embracing the specific policies of harm reduction.” While it has been made clear that the Biden administration is still investigating the clinical efficacy of safe sites for consumption, Gupta said the proposal to lift the existing federal ban is on the table.