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Biden's Answer to Youth Protesters: Let Them Smoke Pot!

Chuck Schumer is pushing to make it easier to use marijuana. Credit: Schumer's Facebook page

The Biden administration’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced that it is planning to reclassify cannabis from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug. As an article in NBC emphasizes, “by rescheduling cannabis, the drug would now be studied and researched to identify concrete medical benefits, opening the door for pharmaceutical companies to get involved with the sale and distribution of medical marijuana in states where it is legal.” NBC News notes this is now a $34 billion “industry,” although that number applies only to the legal side of the operation, with the illegal side internationally being an order of magnitude larger.

Politically, Biden thinks he can use this to win the November elections. As the Financial Times noted April 30, “reviewing the classification of marijuana had emerged as a top political priority for President Biden in recent months as he has battled to shore up the youth vote ahead of the November election pitting him against Donald Trump.” In other words, if youth are protesting against the Gaza genocide, give them some legal pot to smoke to chill out.

At the same time, the international financial speculators that have always favored drug legalization are working on another key angle: legalizing the drug money flows. This is Sen. Chuck Schumer’s specialty. Financial Times reported that he “cheered the [DEA] move on Tuesday. `It is great news that DEA is finally recognizing that restrictive and draconian cannabis laws need to change to catch up to what science and the majority of Americans have said loud and clear,’ he said.” NBC added that Schumer also stated that “he is `strongly committed’ to moving forward with both the SAFER Banking Act and the Democratic bill to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act entirely. `Congress must do everything we can to end the federal prohibition on cannabis and address longstanding harms caused by the War on Drugs,’ he said.” What the “Secure And Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act” does is to essentially legalize drug money laundering—i.e., make it possible for financial transactions of the “cannabis industry” to cross state lines without any legal penalties. Schumer passed it through his Banking Committee by 14-9 and wants to bring it up for a floor vote as soon as possible. At least three Republicans have voted for it and Schumer plans to get many more “single issue” Republicans by adding to his banking bill a clause to allow cannabis consumers to buy and keep firearms.

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