President Joe Biden marked his first 100 days in the White House this week with a pair of grandiloquent speeches packed with ambitious promises.
The sparse crowd of socially distanced lawmakers in Congress on Wednesday and the motorists at Thursday’s car rally in Georgia heard the same message: America is back, and so is an activist government. Channeling Franklin Roosevelt more than Barack Obama, Biden vowed to raise taxes, provide guaranteed jobs, and restore a social safety net to a level not seen since New Dealers were in office.
As NBC News noted on Friday, that’s pleasantly surprised progressive lawmakers, many of whom backed Sen. Bernie Sanders over the president in last year’s primary.
But one very popular reform that Biden is not pushing is any review of the Controlled Substances Act, the Nixon-era federal law that outlaws marijuana and other drugs.
So far, the Biden Administration’s signature “accomplishment” on marijuana has been to fire White House staffers for admitting they used cannabis, even in states where the drug is legal. Prominent Democratic senators are in turn saying they aren’t on board with legalization.
"We continue to see leadership on the issue of ending our nation's failed and racist prohibition on marijuana from just about everyone except the White House,” said Erik Altieri, the executive director of the National Organization For the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the nation’s oldest dedicated legalization lobby.