President Joe Biden can grant mass amnesty to people who have violated federal marijuana laws, congressional researchers said in a new report, adding that his administration can also move to federally legalize cannabis without waiting for lawmakers to act. The new analysis published by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) on Tuesday examines the question: “Does the President Have the Power to Legalize Marijuana?” It’s an idea that’s been raised repeatedly in recent years, including after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) pledged to take executive action to end prohibition on day one in the White House during his 2020 presidential campaign. While CRS found that the president cannot in fact deschedule cannabis unilaterally with an executive order, “he might order executive agencies to consider either altering the scheduling of marijuana or changing their enforcement approach.” That includes having federal officials start a process to completely remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) without requiring any additional action from Congress. Further, the president could also use his pardon powers to either individually, or on a mass scale, grant clemency to people facing charges over federal marijuana offenses, CRS concluded.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 11/03/2021 15:37:00

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