Marijuana advocates and industry leaders are optimistic about a positive trickle-down effect from the incoming administration, despite President-elect Joe Biden's complicated political relationship with the plant.
Compared to his Democratic primary challengers, Biden was tepid about legal marijuana's future in America and refused to endorse federal legalization on the campaign trail; as recently as 2019, he said that marijuana was a gateway drug. However, Biden softened his stance on the dangers of marijuana use as the campaign progressed, and his vice-presidential pick, Senator Kamala Harris, had already flipped after a career in criminal prosecution, even sponsoring a bill in Congress that would have legalized marijuana nationwide.
So will a Biden presidency push for pot legalization? When we asked that recently, readers were quick to respond with comments on the Facebook post of the story. Says Pat:
I think he has bigger problems than this to worry about!
Educate yourself. Thanks to marijuana reform, many cities and states have avoided complete government bankruptcy and shutdown. This is because of the legal marijuana taxes that are collected, and relief the marijuana industry provided via donations to help other businesses that were affected.
Considering how heavily state revenues across the country have been hit by COVID, more state/federal legalization could go a long way in helping to pay for aid packages and economic recovery.
Plus significantly reducing the strain on law enforcement, renewing relationships between law enforcement officials and the community, and reducing the violence that often accompanies black market production/distribution models
You'd be amazed at how much legalization on a federal level would bring us together as a nation
Honestly, it has too much momentum to be stopped. It will soon be legal in every state, D.C. and Puerto Rico. If they continue to insist it should remain illegal federally, they have an unprecedented hard road ahead of them.
Like gay marriage
When do you think marijuana will be legalized federally? Post a comment or share your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.