Today is 4/20, and so naturally the subject of marijuana decriminalization/legalization came up during the latest White House press briefing.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer marked the “unofficial holiday” with calls to “end the federal prohibition on marijuana in this country” and stop overcriminalization.
Many of the questions Psaki received were about President Joe Biden’s comments on the Derek Chauvin trial. During the briefing, some reporters asked about Schumer’s proposal and the president’s position on decriminalization/legalization.
One reporter asked if Biden supports nationally legalizing marijuana.
Psaki said the president supports leaving those decisions to the states and “rescheduling cannabis as a Schedule II drug so researchers can study its positive and negative impacts.”
“At the federal level, he supports decriminalizing marijuana,” Psaki said, noting Biden supports legalizing the use of medicinal marijuana.
When pressed specifically on whether he would sign a bill legalizing pot nationwide, Psaki just said, “I just have outlined what his position is, which isn’t the same as what the House and Senate have proposed, but they have not yet passed a bill.”
Minutes later, another reporter asked Psaki why Biden still opposes legalizing marijuana.
Psaki again said Biden supports decriminalization and rescheduling marijuana. “He’ll look at the research once that’s concluded.”
“Why is he so reluctant to support legalization?” the reporter followed up.
“Of course we understand the movement that’s happening toward it. I’m speaking for what his position is,” Psaki responded.
The briefing ended with another reporter asking about, somewhat cheekily, “today’s unofficial holiday, which I think some of our colleagues are potentially celebrating,” before questioning Psaki on the serious question of clemency for people imprisoned on marijuana charges.
Psaki was confronted during a March briefing about the White House disciplining several staffers over past marijuana use, even asking some to resign. In another March briefing, she said while the president “believes in decriminalizing the use of marijuana,” his position on legalization has not changed.
You can watch the video from today’s briefing above, via C-SPAN
The post WATCH: Reporters Get Into the Weeds of Biden’s Marijuana Stance With Psaki During 4/20 Briefing first appeared on Mediaite.