DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Dave Joyce, co-chair of the Cannabis Caucus in Congress, responded to last week’s reports that President Joe Biden had fired five White House staff for past marijuana use with a letter urging Biden to Rethink its attitudes towards the attitudes of people who have used marijuana.
The letter from the Bainbridge Township Republican states that numerous states and territories have “enacted sensible cannabis reforms and legalization measures that have overturned decades of both arcane and discriminatory guidelines,” and that “cannabis, when used correctly and responsibly, has many proven health benefits including the treatment of PTSD and as an opioid alternative to treating pain.
“As our nation continues to grapple with increased PTSD rates in our veteran communities and a growing opioid crisis that has caused thousands of fatal overdoses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should promote these therapies and not find ways to further stigmatize them and disenfranchise them, ”Joyce’s letter continued.
The letter from Joyce said he was also concerned about the message the federal government is sending by punishing people who were honest about cannabis use. “In a nation where the truth is considered malleable, we must show our young officials that they are telling that truth is an honorable quality that does not need to be punished.
“I respectfully urge your government to stop punishing employees who are honest about their previous cannabis use and reinstate otherwise qualified people,” Joyce continued in her letter. “Going forward, I encourage your government to focus its cannabis efforts on creating an effective federal legal framework that recognizes that an ongoing cannabis ban is neither tenable nor the will of American voters. I am ready and willing to work with you in this regard. “
Joyce also joined a non-partisan group of more than 100 colleagues to reintroduce a bill to give marijuana-related companies access to the banking system in states with legalized marijuana and tight regulatory structures. Legal marijuana companies are currently required to operate on a cash basis as current laws prevent them from accessing the banking system and increase the risk of robbery. Republicans Bob Gibbs of Holmes County, Steve Stivers of Columbus, and Warren Davidson of Miami County supported the bill.
When asked about the layoffs on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki found that despite its legal status in some states, marijuana remains illegal nationwide. She said the rules against marijuana use were “far stricter” during former President Barack Obama’s tenure. She said a number of the five people who are no longer employed in the White House have additional “security issues.”
“I think if marijuana were nationally legal it might be a different circumstance,” said Psaki.