Biden’s need for weed for 2024 presidential polls

It was a first by any American president. US President Joe Biden spoke about marijuana in his last State of the Union Address before the 2024 polls, and outlined the need to end imprisonment for mere possession of marijuana.

The State of the Union Address (SoTU) is mostly used to outline foreign policy stand and domestic focus areas, the mention of marijuana took some by surprise.

“… Directing my Cabinet to review the federal classification of marijuana, and expunging thousands of convictions for mere possession, because no one should be jailed for using or possessing marijuana,” US President Joe Biden said in his address on Thursday (March 7).

The 81-year-old American President took to X too, to emphasise his stance, saying, “No one should be jailed for using or possessing marijuana”.

Biden’s use of pot in the most-watched speech by US presidents was aimed at younger voters in a poll year.

President Biden pardoned thousands of people who were convicted of the use and simple possession of marijuana on federal lands and in the District of Columbia, in December 2023.

“Criminal records for marijuana use and possession have imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities,” Biden said in his 2023 statement. “Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It’s time that we right these wrongs.”

Though nobody was freed from prison after the announcement, the pardons were meant to help thousands overcome obstacles to renting a home or finding a job, according to the Associated Press.

BIDEN’S BID TO WOO YOUNG VOTERS WITH MARIJUANA MOVE

Joe Biden will be taking on Republican candidate and former US President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election.

Poll surveys have shown that Donald Trump is being favoured against Joe Biden.

A recent New York Times/Siena College poll said that if the polling happened in the first week of March, 48% would vote for Donald Trump, while 43% would go with Biden. The remaining 10% did not know their choices or refused to comment, the poll said.

Biden’s ‘use of marijuana’ is seen as an attempt to woo younger voters in the crucial election year.

A recently conducted nationwide Politico survey showed President Joe Biden’s stance on relaxing federal regulations on marijuana has substantial support from the 18-to-25-year-old age group, a crucial group in the upcoming presidential race.

The survey said that around 58% of likely voters endorse the Biden administration’s proposal to reclassify marijuana to a less restrictive category under federal law.

The same survey also said, 65% of voters in the 18-to-25-year bracket supported the Biden administration’s plans to relax the criminalising of possession of marijuana.

70% OF AMERICANS BELIEVE WEED SHOULD BE LEGAL: POLL

Another poll by Lake Research Partners and funded by the Coalition for Cannabis Scheduling Reform (CCSR) indicated a substantial increase in positive sentiments towards President Joe Biden if he follows through on his promise to reschedule cannabis.

This sentiment was particularly pronounced amongst the youth, noted the poll.

Young voters aged 18-25 supported President Biden’s campaign promise of freeing America’s cannabis prisoners and decriminalising weed.

The Lake Research poll also found that 70% of Americans believe weed should be legal, while around 80% of Democrats in America want cannabis to be legal.

What also confirms Biden’s reaching out to young voters is his aid in writing off students’ loans.

President Biden garnered praise when he provided hard-fought financial aid in the form of an additional $5 billion in student loan forgiveness in January this year.

The move would go on to benefit around 793,000 Americans who borrowed money to attend college.

President Biden’s mention of marijuana in his last State of the Union Address before the polls is significant and aimed at wooing young voters as the Democrat frontrunner heads towards a close rematch with his Republican heavyweight Trump.

Published By:

Sushim Mukul

Published On:

Mar 8, 2024

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