A new, contentious claim about President Joe Biden’s daughter-in-law supposedly receiving U.S. Secret Service protection while she shopped at a cannabis dispensary in California has come to light as dissatisfaction grows over unmet pledges to amend federal marijuana regulations.
The Biden family’s son, Hunter’s wife Melissa Cohen, was reportedly seen leaving the 99 High Tide dispensary in Malibu with a “little unidentifiable purchase” late last month, according to The Daily Mail.
Cannabis is still prohibited at the federal level, even though it is permitted in California. The question is not whether Cohen uses marijuana; rather, it is the apparent use of a federal secret service team to protect the transaction that raises some concerns, especially given that Biden has not followed through on his pledge to decriminalize cannabis and release non-violent marijuana prisoners.
The president has frequently stated that he does not think people should be imprisoned for using marijuana. Despite promising to do so on the campaign trail, Obama has not yet taken any concrete steps to eliminate the federal criminalization of marijuana. He has also stated his support for letting states decide their own marijuana policies free from federal interference.
In April of last year, the president commuted the sentences of 78 individuals, some of whom had received federal convictions for nonviolent narcotics offenses. Advocates are urging the president to take broad administrative action, like a blanket pardon.
It should be noted that despite the Daily Mail’s claim that Cohen was accompanied by a Secret Service member at the marijuana business, this could not be independently verified. Cohen may have also purchased non-cannabis commodities from the dispensary, like hemp, which is permitted by law on a national level.
Justin Strekal, the creator of BOWL PAC, said: “I hope Melissa had a pleasant experience and will represent the normalcy of buying cannabis to the president and urge his loud support for legalization.”
Despite Biden’s opposition to decriminalizing marijuana for recreational use, Congressmen have been working to do so and still do so.
Despite a supermajority of party supporters in his party supporting the policy change, the White House has made it clear that despite Biden supporting modest cannabis reform initiatives, his overall view remains opposed to legalizing the drug for adult usage.
Instead, the president has made no public statements about marijuana policy since taking office other than to say that his administration is “working on” cannabis clemency in response to a reporter’s query.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), among other congressional lawmakers, continues to fight to abolish federal prohibition despite Biden’s broader opposition to recreational legalization.
A long-awaited legalization plan that would also tax cannabis sales at the federal level and advance social equity was submitted by the leader last month. However, it is unlikely that the complete reform proposal will receive enough support to pass the chamber with 60 votes.
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) unveiled a long-awaited legalization proposal that would also tax cannabis at the federal level and advance social justice.