Gillibrand praises Biden cannabis pardons, wants more done on drug laws
Last week, President Joe Biden pardoned all people charged with marijuana possession under federal law. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, praises the move, but said the administration should go further.
Gillibrand, speaking at the conference of the New York NAACP, called Biden’s move a good “first step,” but she said that needs to be followed up by de-scheduling cannabis from other controlled substances like heroin and LSD.
"It shouldn't be a scheduled drug,” Gillibrand said. “It is not the same as opium and it's not the same as other scheduled drugs, so that has to change."
Gillibrand also said reconsidering drug laws is an issue of racial justice as well, given historic trends showing that people of color have been disproportionately charged with lower level drug charges.
Gillibrand said she believes legislation hasn’t been brought onto the Senate floor because there isn’t enough bipartisan support to get them passed.
Announced at the same time as the pardons, the president is also directing the Department of Justice to begin examining the possibility of de-scheduling cannabis.