Washington Post: Political scientist Lee Hannah explains why the real action over legalizing marijuana remains in the states

Lee Hannah, associate professor of political science

In an article in the Washington Post, Lee Hannah, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at Wright State University, examines President Biden’s announcement last week that he will use his pardon power to grant clemency to people convicted of federal crimes for possessing marijuana. Biden also directed the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to review how the federal government classifies marijuana under federal drug laws, possibly leading to classifying marijuana as a drug with both medicinal benefit and potential for abuse.

Biden’s decisions could affect some midterm congressional elections. But, Hannah writes, most of the action over legalizing marijuana remains in the states:

“Notably, states have been innovative despite the administrative hurdles created by federal prohibition. Thirty-seven states have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana programs since 1996; 19 states have adopted recreational programs since 2012. Over this period, the states have worked out the kinks in implementing medical and recreational marijuana programs through trial and error and by learning from other states. Recently, more states are addressing concerns in the industry related to social equity and corporate monopolies — trying to ensure that communities that were disproportionately harmed by prohibition get a stake in the industry once distribution is legal.”

Read the full article at washingtonpost.com.

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