While the federal decriminalisation of cannabis appeared to be high on Joe Biden’s agenda during the presidential election in 2020, more than half of Americans now think he has done “little to nothing” to move the issue forward.
According to a recent survey published by YouGov, the majority of Americans think President Biden will not keep his election promise to introduce cannabis reforms. After over a year in office, cannabis is still not federally decriminalised.
The YouGov poll revealed that 54% of participants believe Joe Biden has, so far, done” to deliver on his campaign promise to decriminalise cannabis.
Only seven per cent believed the president had achieved “a lot” in his first year in office and 16% claimed Mr Biden has made “some” progress in the matter.
Meanwhile, many Americans don’t think that Mr Biden will achieve too much in 2022, either.
When asked how much progress they think the president would make this year, an astonishing 58% said they expect little to no change – while only five per cent predicted that “a lot” will happen in 2022.
Joe Biden’s lack of action could very well be coming back to bite him. The poll also revealed that 58% of respondents would support the decriminalisation of cannabis in a country where cannabis convictions remain very high.
As Mr Biden is seemingly busy with other issues concerning the US and the world as a whole, more people – usually youngsters from minority backgrounds –are being put behind bars for cannabis-related offences.
Campaigners and advocates argue that decriminalisation and the expungement of previous convictions would contribute a lot to tackling injustice and freeing many people for minor cannabis-related offences – including possession of small quantities of the drug.
Vice-President Kamala Harris, during the campaign, was adamant: “We will decriminalise cannabis, and we will expunge the records of those who have been convicted of [possessing] cannabis.”
However, others claim that Mr Biden’s well-known opinions on cannabis and drugs, in general, would always be an obstacle for lawmakers looking to decriminalise the substance.
In a town hall during the campaign, Mr Biden said: “The truth is there’s not been nearly enough evidence that has been acquired as to whether or not it is a gateway drug.
“It’s a debate and I want a lot more before I legalise it nationally. I want to make sure we know a lot more about the science behind it.”