White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday that President Joe Biden has no plans to expedite federal marijuana decriminalization, despite a call to action from Pennsylvania Democratic Senatorial nominee and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman on the topic.
“I don’t have anything right now to announce,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at Monday’s press briefing. “President Biden believes that there are too many people serving unduly long sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, a disproportionate number of whom are black and brown.”
“As I have said before, the president supports leaving decisions regarding legalization for recreational use up to the states, rescheduling cannabis as a Schedule II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative impacts, and, at the federal level, he supports decriminalizing marijuana use and automatically expunging any prior criminal records,” she added.
Fetterman claimed in a Monday press release that “it’s long past time that we finally decriminalize marijuana.”
“The president needs to use his executive authority to begin descheduling marijuana, I would love to see him do this prior to his visit to Pittsburgh,” he wrote. “This is just common sense and Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support decriminalizing marijuana.”
Biden has largely avoided discussing marijuana reform during his first two years in office, despite pressure from progressives and promises he made on the campaign trail. The president has commuted 17 marijuana-related sentences and issued three marijuana-related pardons.
You can watch Monday’s briefing in full below.