Joe Biden wants more medical cannabis research, included in racial justice plan


People who suffer from disabilities in the United States could be one step closer to having their medical cannabis needs satisfied. Former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has introduced a new plan that could stimulate research into the medicinal potential of cannabis.

Despite the fact that he is majorly against full cannabis legalization, Biden has vowed to “ensure people with disabilities have a voice in their government and are included in policy development and implementation.”

“A Biden Administration will prioritize the research needed to advance science-based federal policies related to the use of [cannabis] for medical conditions, chronic pain, and disabilities,” reads an excerpt from the plan, which was released on Thursday, May 28.

Numerous elements of cannabis reform contained in Biden Administration plan spite of Biden’s opposition to federal legalization across the U.S., there are some elements of cannabis reform on his agenda. Aside from medical cannabis legalization, Biden’s plan also includes decriminalizing and rescheduling cannabis under federal law. The 77-year-old is also in favor of enabling state-specific laws and automatic expungement for cannabis convictions.

The Biden Administration may hold promise in these areas, but the chances of it triggering cannabis reform in the U.S. are bleak. Before he’s willing to push for legalization, prospective nominee Biden claims that further research ought to be carried out into the benefits and risks of using cannabis. However, some people would disagree with Biden’s views on cannabis legalization and say that sufficient research already exists. 

Criminal justice task force could assist with cannabis reform in the U.S.

Biden might be trying to show off his “green” tendencies for the U.S., but don’t be fooled into thinking that he wants to embrace complete cannabis legalization with open arms. Unless he’s keeping quiet, the 47th vice president of the United States hasn’t revealed anything to suggest that federal cannabis legalization will be considered during the November election. 

All hope is not lost, however. Numerous pro-cannabis groups and lobbyists across the U.S. envision a last-minute push for policy reform. This, they believe, could be spurred on by the criminal justice task force that was previously developed by Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). During one of the most recent weekly task force meetings, Biden called for a $300 million investment in community police officer training.
(Pictured) Chiraag Bains

A former federal prosecutor – who is also a member of the criminal justice task force – recently told reporters that the decriminalization proposal included in Biden’s racial justice plan is inadequate and instead, should be swapped for a more wide-ranging legalization initiative.

His opinion is shared by Chiraag Bains, who, during the Obama administration, was active in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

“We need a specific agenda and it needs to be bold,” said Bains, who is optimistic that Biden will broaden the legislation contained in his proposals. “I do see that the vice president is moving that direction. I just think we need to do more.”