What does a Biden presidency mean for cannabis?

What does a Biden presidency mean for cannabis?

Short answer? Time will tell.

Early in his presidential campaign, Biden was not a fan of broad cannabis legalization. He opposed full federal legalization of adult-use cannabis. More recently he stated that he favors the decriminalization of cannabis and the legalization of medical marijuana on a federal level. However, recreational laws would be up to individual states to enact. 

Why is Biden anti legalization?

According to the Atlantic, current and former aides say what’s stopping him is public health. Until he sees definitive data to assure him that legalizing cannabis won’t lead to serious problems, either mental or physical, for either adults or teens, Biden won’t approve broad recreational legalization of cannabis.

One could argue that continued prohibition of recreational cannabis poses a significant public health issue. Many people believe that cannabis is a safer alternative to opioids, alcohol, and even nicotine. Additionally, many are consuming cannabis from the illicit market which may include pesticides and other chemicals. 

What about Vice-President elect Harris?

In 2019, Harris told the Breakfast Club Power 101.5 FM radio show at about 34:00 that she does not oppose legalization. She directly stated: “I believe we need to legalize marijuana”. She then said we should increase cannabis research to understand its impacts on the brain and on driving.

What does decriminalization mean?

Decriminalization, according to pro-cannabis non-profit NORML, means no arrest, prison time, or criminal charges for the first time possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal consumption. Twenty-six states already have either full or partial cannabis decriminalization. With 40,000 people still incarcerated from marijuana related charges, largely from black and brown communities, decriminalization would be a huge step towards social justice. 


We at Inkbrite are extremely excited about the results of the 2020 election. We believe that the Biden presidency will bring a number of much needed changes to the United States, including cannabis decriminalization. In our opinion, federal legalization is the ideal solution. However, we applaud steps in the right direction and hope the discussion continues.

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