19th November 2020
By Roland Sebestyén

Although Donald Trump refuses to concede, US president-elect Joe Biden has already started appointing his staff for his upcoming term at the White House. One of the key questions is who Mr Biden will appoint as the next Attorney General? A Cannabis legalisation advocacy group has an idea.

Marijuana Moment has reported that NORML, whose mission is to serve as an advocate for cannabis consumers, issued an open letter to president-elect Joe Biden.

NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri stated that as the power shift had already started, the new president must urgently address who he is going to appoint as the next Attorney General of the US.

Mr Altieri added that because the next AG will have a crucial role in how the Biden-Harris administration is planning to solve the cannabis question at the federal level over the coming years, they demanded an open-minded, pro-cannabis reform, Attorney General.

He writes: “During the Trump Administration, two ardent drug-warriors — Jeff Sessions and William Barr — were appointed Attorney General.

“Under their leadership, the administration rescinded the policy guidance known as The Cole Memo, which had directed federal prosecutors not to interfere with state legalisation efforts and those licensed to engage in the plant’s production and sale.

“More recently, in June, a prosecutor working for AG Barr said that the Justice Department is using burdensome antitrust probes to unnecessarily harass licensed cannabis businesses.

“We cannot allow this sort of Reefer Madness to continue to flourish at the Department of Justice. “

Concurrently, NORML also started a petition so that people could co-sign their demands and push Mr Biden further.

In the petition, among others, they write: “We urge you to keep the campaign promises made by you, as well as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and appoint an Attorney General who will facilitate necessary changes in cannabis policies and who will respect the decisions of those states that have already moved in this direction.”

As you will have read on Canex over the last few weeks, under Joe Biden something might change in the federal cannabis policy.

Firstly, during a debate on live television, VP-elect Kamala Harris pledged that should Mr Biden got in the White House, he would decriminalise cannabis.

She said: “We will decriminalise cannabis, and we will expunge the records of those who have been convicted of [possessing] cannabis.”

Following the debate, Nick Kovacevich, CEO of KushCo Holdings, said they were playing the waiting game.

He said: “We don’t know what she means. It’s definitely good that it got mentioned.

“The more it’s talked about, the more momentum there is for change, but just throwing that out there is not going to give anybody the confidence that there is really going to be a change under a Biden-Harris administration.”

We, however, know that Mr Biden has never been a fan of cannabis. As a senator, for instance, he was very strict when it came to the drug.

It came as a surprise that he never confirmed that he planned to change the federal cannabis policy during the campaign, although pro-reform people on both sides of the spectrum were waiting for a huge announcement.

However, cannabis experts argued, Mr Biden’s presidency could be a massive boost for the cannabis industry.

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About the Author

Roland Sebestyén
Roland Sebestyen is a Hungarian journalist with over six years experience in the field. He has worked for some of the most popular, independent national newspapers in his country. In 2019 he moved to Sheffield to study on the NCTJ-accredited MA journalism course at the University of Sheffield. Roland is now a news and feature writer for Canex.