The White House repeated Wednesday President Joe Biden’s belief that no one should be in jail for using illegal drugs.
“The president continues to believe that no one should be in jail because of drug use,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said when asked about Biden’s views on the use of marijuana.
During the presidential campaign, Biden said he supported decriminalizing the use of marijuana.
“Number one, I think we should decriminalize marijuana, period,” Biden said on the debate stage in November 2019. “And I think everyone — anyone who has a record should be let out of jail, their records expunged, be completely zeroed out.”
There is a lot of talk out there on where I stand when it comes to our marijuana laws. Here are the facts: pic.twitter.com/oaoExCXud8
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 18, 2019
Biden’s position on marijuana has changed significantly over the years.
In 2010, Biden said he believed “it would be a mistake” to legalize marijuana, and stated it was a “gateway drug.”
Psaki defended the administration’s record on drug decriminalization, noting the Drug Enforcement Agency has granted licenses for companies to cultivate marijuana for research purposes.
She said Biden also continued reviewing his executive clemency powers to reduce or eliminate federal drug sentences.
The president has not issued any pardons for criminals currently in prison since taking office, despite former presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama both having commuted the sentences of some non-violent drug offenders.
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