President Joe Biden said during his campaign that he was all about allowing some cannabis reform to take shape nationwide, especially if it meant that otherwise law-abiding citizens didn’t have to go to jail for it. “Nobody should be in jail for smoking marijuana,” Biden said during a town hall last year.
Although he never sided with the concept of fully legalizing marijuana, like a growing number of states are already doing, Biden promised that his administration would get serious about decriminalization and expunging the criminal records of those who’ve been busted for pot crimes. But it’s already April, and he hasn’t lifted a finger on this issue. Vice President Kamala Harris says that’s because Biden’s been so focused on “getting people food, helping them stay in their apartments or in their homes, getting kids back to school, getting shots into arms.”
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats want to push for full steam ahead legalization. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last weekend that they would do this with or without Biden. Only, that’s not possible. Congress will need to get President Biden on board with their idea concerning legalization. Otherwise, their efforts are bound to go nowhere. That’s if they can find a way to get a pot bill through Republican roadblocks, the filibuster, and other political shenanigans that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell is capable of unleashing.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say that Congress manages to approve a comprehensive cannabis reform bill this year that allows a taxed and regulated weed market to come alive nationwide. By all accounts, Biden probably isn’t going to be quick to sign it into law because he’s not yet convinced that legalization is the way to go. Part of his apprehensiveness could be the condition of his son Hunter Biden.
The 51-year-old Biden has been making media appearances lately to promote his new memoir Beautiful Things. The book deals with Hunter’s problems with drugs and alcohol, and the stories are on the dark side. Over the weekend, Biden shared disturbing details with CBS Sunday Morning that would make any parent cringe — especially if you happen to be the leader of the free world.
“I spent more times on my hands and knees picking through rugs smoking anything that even remotely resembled crack cocaine,” he said. “I probably smoked more parmesan cheese than anyone you know. I went one time for 13 days without sleeping and smoking crack and drinking vodka throughout that entire time.”
Considering what he has been through with Hunter, it’s distinctly possible that President Biden, who has already suffered the loss of one son, Beau, is scared that marijuana might be a gateway drug to the kind of problematic drug behaviors expressed in Hunter’s book.
His aversion to full-blown marijuana legalization could be that he has the best of intentions and doesn’t wish to contribute to the addiction of more Americans. After all, no president wants to be held responsible when millions of Americans start crawling around on the carpet searching for crack and smoking parmesan cheese. That would be a new low for a nation already ravaged by the scourge of opioids and methamphetamine. Therefore, President Biden is presumably a little skittish about legalizing a substance that he’s always believed to be the training wheels to the hard stuff. He’s from the old school, a time when pot was associated with draft dodging hippies and the urban downtrodden.
But now, Biden has a soft spot for drug addicts. He said last year that they should be forced to go to rehab, not prison. But legal weed still seems to make him pretty nervous. Perhaps this is why Senator Chuck Schumer wants the president to hear him out on why legalization is the right way to go. “I want to make my arguments to him, as many other advocates will,” Schumer told Politico.
One way or another, federal lawmakers will need to convince Biden that nationwide marijuana legalization probably isn’t going to lead to a country plagued by parmesan cheese smoking crack users. The President needs to be reminded that the legalization of alcohol decades ago is what made the substance safer for the masses to consume socially and contributed to most of the population engaging in responsible use. The same concept can and should be applied to marijuana, which is already legal in this manner in 15 states.
President Biden needs to understand the benefits of the legal path and be put at ease that the only parmesan problem Americans might suffer once marijuana prohibition ends is that we might start consuming more spaghetti.