During his presidential campaign, Biden repeatedly said that he wanted to see marijuana decriminalization as well as automatic expungement of prior cannabis convictions.
By Nina Zdinjak
“It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars,” the late great Noam Chomsky once said.
Right on point, many would agree, considering that more than half of the U.S. adult population concurs that President Joe Biden has made little to no progress on his crucial campaign promise to decriminalize cannabis during his first year in office, according to a new poll conducted by YouGov and the Economist.
The survey revealed that the majority of U.S. residents also don’t hold out much hope that the president will make progress on this important reform in 2022, reported Marijuana Moment.
As per the survey, 54% believe that Biden made little to no progress on marijuana decriminalization; 23% said they don’t know and another 23% think he made some or a lot of progress on the matter.
When it comes to other issues such as clean energy, infrastructure, COVID-19 response, student loan forgiveness and raising the federal minimum wage, respondents said Biden made somewhat more progress. The only issue that ranked lower than cannabis decriminalization in terms of poor progress was securing bipartisan collaboration in Congress for economic relief.
Some 42% Democrat and 73% Republican respondents said Biden had made little to no progress on cannabis reform. More than half (58%) of respondents overall do not expect Biden to make progress on cannabis decriminalization in 2022, with 26% unsure what to expect and only 16% optimistically believing he’ll make some or a lot of progress on the issue.
It is important to note that 58% of respondents confirmed they support marijuana decriminalization and 25% do not.
‘Betrayal Of The People’
During his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden repeatedly said that he wanted to see marijuana decriminalization as well as automatic expungement of prior cannabis convictions.
After a full year in the Oval Office, Americans have seen neither.
Although the president has been under pressure from all sides, he hasn’t budged despite numerous letters from marijuana advocates, lawmakers, celebrities and those who have been, and still are, negatively affected by the war on drugs including those who are behind bars for marijuana-related convictions.
“The Biden Administration’s failure to live up to campaign statements and, in the case of including a rider preventing D.C. from regulating cannabis in his budget proposal, even backsliding on cannabis is extremely disappointing,” Morgan Fox, political director of NORML told Marijuana Moment. “This inaction on modest cannabis policy reforms over the past year is inexcusable and is a betrayal of the people that put the president in office.
“The president has an opportunity with cannabis to show initiative and leadership on an issue that enjoys broad bipartisan support,” Morgan said. “Continued inaction on this issue will have negative consequences for his party this year and in 2024.”