Obama Won’t Act on Marijuana Reform

President Barack Obama likely won’t take any unilateral action on marijuana reform this year, despite hopes from many advocates that he would attempt to reschedule cannabis or issue an executive order on banking or the tax code to help the industry.

“There are some in the Democratic Party who have urged the president to take this kind of action,” White House press secretary John Earnest said on Friday, according to the Washington Post. “The president’s response was, ‘If you feel so strongly about it, and you believe there is so much public support for what it is that you’re advocating, then why don’t you pass legislation about it and we’ll see what happens.'”

Earnest’s comments put to rest any hopes that cannabis reformers may have harbored for Obama’s last year in office, as the president seems to be placing the entire onus for future change on Congress and the states.

Federal lawmakers have introduced multiple bills in recent years to bolster MMJ research and open banking access to cannabis businesses. One bill sponsored by Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders would even repeal the federal ban on marijuana.

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8 comments on “Obama Won’t Act on Marijuana Reform
  1. Johnny Korell on

    What???????? I don’t get it. What does he have to lose by rescheduling cannabis or issue an executive order on banking or the tax code to help the industry. Any and all would be really good for people who need or just want cannabis and the economy.

    • Nancy Lee Garrett on

      WTF is right. You all are not hearing President Obama he said get a bill in front of him he can pass. That is a challenge yes but he did not say emphatically. I understand his position he has done so much and has avoided addressing our cause. However I think he is smart under the circumstances. Can’t somebody get one of our Senator’s to intro a bill for him he can feel obligated to pass. You all need to listen between the lines sometimes when dealing with politicians that is Activist 101.

  2. Rick Fague on

    I expected this, his role was to allow the states to legalize it if that’s what people want and now he’s passing the baton on to Hillary, who will no doubt take the next steps in reclassifying MJ and fixing the banking and tax code problems.

    This is in keeping with the baby step approach that we’ve seen so far. Patience, folks, it’ll happen, just let them take these steps at their own pace, otherwise the powers that be might get nervous and slow things down even more.

    One step at a time, one day at a time.

    • Jody Hoffman on

      Its hard to be patient when you are dying from a horrible disease and the current medications cause severe wasting and addiction. Obama can sign gun control laws without approval by congress but not medical marijuana. Its not on his agenda

  3. Uti on

    I realized about half way through his first term that despite a few cannabis positive statements he made during his campaigning to woo young voters President Obama was going to kick the can down the road. His latest statement above is consistent with everything he has said and done for 7 years, which essentially has said ‘let Congress handle it’, but knowing all along that the senators and representatives do not truly represent the will of the majority and nothing substantial was going to happen during his presidency to decriminalize marijuana. He clearly stated that there were more important issues that people, especially young people, should be worrying about, which I thought was baloney because criminalization of marijuana and the associated black market play a tremendous part in economic and racial justice for millions of Americans.

  4. Bill lewis on

    I don’t get it either. This issue is too important to depend on Congress to act. Especially this Congress! We have had 50 years of the disgusting results of Richard Nixon making MJ a Schedule one drug. Approximately 40 million people have been incarcerated, affecting them and their families. ENOUGH!!!

  5. Carla Stark on

    ‘ll yeah President Obama, thanks for nothing here. As another person said, he would have nothing to lose yeah President Obama, thanks for nothing here. As another person said, he would have nothing to lose by helping the industry and those suffering from these horrible diseases out. I guess he doesn’t care because he himself is not suffering. Well let’s just look out for ourselves then President Obama, and thanks for nothing.

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