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Marijuana advocates question why nothing has changed so far under President Biden

States are making changes but so far the federal government has been quiet
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Posted at 2:46 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 17:46:48-04

WASHINGTON — 15 states have now officially legalized recreational marijuana use.

Several more allow for cannabis to be used for medicinal purposes.

As President Joe Biden approaches his 100th day in office, nothing major has changed at the federal level, where marijuana remains illegal.

ADVOCATES FRUSTRATION

To say Adam Eidinger likes marijuana is an understatement. The advocate helped decriminalize marijuana in D.C. years ago. He has helped lead pushes to legalize it at the federal level for years.

"Have I heard anything from the White House? Uh, no," Eidinger, who lives a mile from Biden, said.

"We want Democrats in Washington to keep their promise," Eidinger added.

To make matters worse for Eidinger is the Daily Beast report, which the White House did not deny, that implied progressives who admitted to marijuana use on White House job applications have faced discrimination.

"People voted for this administration fully thinking they would respect cannabis users," Eidinger added.

WHAT COULD BIDEN CHANGE?

Eidinger, like many advocates, believes Biden could de-schedule marijuana on his own.

Currently, marijuana is classified the same as heroin and cocaine as a schedule 1 drug.

Eidinger believes Biden could direct the DEA to change the classification. Eidinger also believes Biden could remove the question on federal job applications.

"The president doesn’t have to wait for congress to pass marijuana legalization or decriminalization he could act today to de-schedule cannabis," Eidinger said.

COULD CONGRESS ACT?

"You and I have been talking about this since 2013," Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colorado) told Scripps National Political Editor Joe St. George recently.

Perlmutter was referring to the fact not much has changed recently with marijuana on the federal level despite plenty of talk.

However, Perlmutter believes the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow dispensaries access to the federally insured banking system, is on the precipice of passing with bipartisan support.

Perlmutter believes this measure would need 60 votes and not 51 to clear the Senate.

"We have these piles of cash that are generated and we wanted to get a safe harbor for it," Perlmutter said.

"A number of Republicans are cosponsors. I really expect the SAFE Banking Act to pass the House, pass the Senate and get to the White House," Perlmutter said.

For Eidinger, this represents something but he believes more must be done.

"I use marijuana every day," Eidinger said.