Decriminalize marijuana, align federal policy with public support
  1. United States
  2. Letter

Decriminalize marijuana, align federal policy with public support

To: Pres. Biden

From: A verified voter in Milwaukee, WI

April 30

The United States is taking an important step by reclassifying marijuana as a less dangerous drug, acknowledging its medical uses and lower potential for abuse compared to more harmful substances. However, this reclassification does not go far enough in addressing the failed policies of marijuana criminalization. Removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances entirely would be a much more meaningful reform, better reflecting the widespread public acceptance and legalization efforts across the country. The continued federal criminalization of marijuana has imposed severe and disproportionate consequences, particularly on communities of color, fueling mass incarceration and creating barriers to employment, housing, and education for countless Americans over non-violent offenses. Outright decriminalization would prevent these injustices, allow for proper regulation and taxation, and enable further research into marijuana's potential medical applications. A strong majority of Americans now support full legalization of marijuana. This policy shift should be viewed as the rational next step in righting the wrongs of decades of discriminatory drug policies rooted more in stigma than evidence. A principled approach compels the complete removal of marijuana from the controlled substances list to align federal law with the tides of progress already underway across most states. Mere rescheduling is an inadequate half-measure that leaves intact an unjust system in need of more fundamental reform.

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