Sen. Fetterman Criticizes Biden's Marijuana Pardons Over Military Code Exclusions

Sen. Fetterman Criticizes Biden’s Marijuana Pardons Over Military Code Exclusions

In a recent interview, Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) expressed disappointment with President Joe Biden’s marijuana pardons, arguing that they should cover possession offenses under military code. Fetterman emphasized that cannabis should be treated similarly to alcohol under federal law.

The senator’s remarks came during a conversation with Ask a Pol’s Matt Laslo, where he diverged from the president’s stance on cannabis reform, advocating for its legalization and regulation akin to alcohol and tobacco products.

While the U.S. Army clarified that marijuana possession violations under military drug code weren’t eligible for the president’s pardons, there was no official announcement from the White House addressing this issue.

Fetterman criticized this limitation, urging Biden to reconsider. He emphasized the discrepancy in penalizing military personnel for using a substance statistically safer than legal alternatives like alcohol. The senator highlighted the inconsistency in how alcohol, a legal substance, doesn’t jeopardize careers like marijuana use could.

Despite his disagreement on this matter, Fetterman affirmed his overall support for Biden, acknowledging differences of opinion on certain issues.

President Biden’s approach to marijuana pardons has faced scrutiny, with advocates pushing for broader relief, including non-violent cannabis sale convictions and those punished under military code.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) emphasized the need for extending pardons to repair the damage caused by the war on drugs, while former Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) praised Biden’s actions as bold steps towards clemency.

Fetterman, known for his advocacy for cannabis legalization, clarified that he personally doesn’t use marijuana, reiterating his belief in its legalization based on principles of purity, safety, and individual rights.

Regarding broader drug policy, Fetterman underscored the ineffectiveness of the current criminalization approach, advocating for a conversation on legalization while acknowledging the need to exclude truly dangerous substances.

The senator has been actively involved in cannabis advocacy, recently co-authoring a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) urging full legalization and questioning the agency’s scheduling review process.

Additionally, Fetterman voiced opposition to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call for a crackdown on nicotine product Zyn, asserting that such matters should be left to individual freedom and personal choices.

Meanwhile, Fetterman lamented Pennsylvania’s lag in cannabis legalization compared to neighboring states like Ohio, emphasizing the urgency for reform in the Commonwealth.

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