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Fetterman plans to pressure Biden on ‘need to finally decriminalize marijuana’ at Labor Day parade

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Pennsylvania Governor John Fetterman (D-D), the US Senate candidate, has called on President Joe Biden to deliver on campaign promises for marijuana reform — and he plans to raise the issue with him in person next week at the Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh, though he hopes to see immediate presidential action. No policy change before then.

Fetterman has long been an outspoken advocate of cannabis reform, and has vowed to push for an end to federal bans if he is elected to the Senate. But even before Election Day, he plans to take his call directly to the president.

“It’s been a long time since marijuana was finally decriminalized,” Fetterman said in a press release Monday. “The president needs to use his executive power to start decriminalizing marijuana, and I’d like to see him do that before his visit to Pittsburgh. That’s just common sense and Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support decriminalizing marijuana.”

His campaign said that at the Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh next Monday, the Democratic candidate would “walk” alongside labor activists. Biden is currently scheduled to visit Pittsburgh to celebrate the holiday.

A spokesperson for Fetterman’s campaign said that while the candidate will not attend the separate Wilkes-Barre event where the president is scheduled to appear, he hopes to bring cannabis policy to the rally, which Biden has done attended by At least three times, most recently in 2018.

In a statement distributed to reporters, the spokesperson said the deputy governor “looks forward to speaking to the president there about the need to eventually decriminalize marijuana.”

Biden campaigned on a pledge to decriminalize marijuana, but No meaningful action has yet been taken to this end After more than a year in office.

he is He made his first public comments on the issue Since taking office after being pressured last month on whether he plans to follow through on his campaign pledge to release people imprisoned for nonviolent federal marijuana offenses.

The president reiterated at the time that he didn’t think people should be locked up for cannabis use, said his administration was “working on” that promise of clemency and alluded vaguely to a crime bill he suggested would address the issue.

Biden continues to “evaluate additional uses of clemency powers,” The White House said late last month After seeking clarification on the administration’s plans for federal cannabis prisoner relief.

The president received about ten Letters From legislatorsAnd the advocatesCelebrities and people affected by criminalization do something About the people who stayed behind federal bars on cannabis.

Six senators — including Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) — sent Biden a letter last month to express their frustration with running the administration. ‘Failure’ to objectively address the harms of criminalizing marijuana And use the power of executive clemency to change course.

They said the administration’s current position “is harming thousands of Americans, slowing research, and denying Americans their ability to use marijuana for medicinal or other purposes.”

Back in Pennsylvania, current polls put Fetterman ahead of his Republican opponent, television health personality Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz. Both Oz and the Republican National Committee Targeted the Democratic candidate about cannabis and drug policy reform’s record, despite polls showing that most Pennsylvania supports Fetterman’s positions on legalization and harm reduction.

The attacks also come despite the fact that in 2020 Oz said marijuana was “one of the most used tools in America” ​​and said the country should “It completely changed our policy on marijuana.”

For some reason, Oz, former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich (right) and Conservative missionary Ann Coulter They all took particular issue with the cannabis-themed flag that Fetterman hung on the balcony of his Harrisburg office while he was pushing for reform in Keystone State.

“I don’t want to hear any bullshit coming out of Dr. Oz’s campaign trying to confuse decriminalization of marijuana with serious crime. Are we supposed to believe that neither he nor any of his employees ever used marijuana?” Fetterman said in the New press release. “As Mayor Braddock, I’ve made it my mission to fight serious crime. I know firsthand what real crime looks like. Marijuana doesn’t fit the law. It’s time to end the hypocrisy on this issue once and for all.”

Rachel Tripp, communications consultant for Oz, responded to Fetterman’s announcement with a tweet calling the Democrat a “man and child.”

“Marijuana and the Liberation of Killers – Exactly what you’d expect of a man and child collecting politics through a mist of smoke in his parents’ basement.”

Fetterman was not shy about his drug policy reform program. For example, comment on a file Jealous That cannabis sales in New Jersey started while Pennsylvania has yet to legalize and it is continued In educating people about the urgent pardon process, he advocated for people with “nonsense” convictions of marijuana.

The official, who serves as chair of the state’s Pardon Board, said one of his main goals in his final year in office was to ensure that as many eligible people as possible applied to the courts. Remove their cannabis records and restore opportunities For things like housing, student financial aid, and employment through the Expedited Petition Program.

After Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe (D) legalized marijuana, Fetterman He also led a statewide listening tour To hear what residents have to say about the policy proposal. He promoted his role in that tour on his Senate campaign website.

He also spoke about his work “to legalize cannabis for jobs, justice, veterans, farmers and revenue” in a fundraising email earlier this year.

Fetterman previously said that farmers in his state can. Marijuana grows better than people in New JerseyThis was one of the reasons that Pennsylvania was so quick to reform its cannabis laws.

In 2020, he hosted a virtual forum where he got Advice on how to effectively implement a cannabis regime From the vice governors of Illinois and Michigan, who enacted the legalization.

US border officials want to buy “cannabis analyzers” to detect the features of cannabis and distinguish marijuana from hemp

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