Biden takes aim at Trump over cannabis

biden trump cannabis

The 2024 presidential election cycle is in full swing. Last night, President Biden and former President Trump held their first of two scheduled debates, trading jabs over virtually everything—from immigration to their golf games. And while cannabis reform did not come up on stage, the Biden administration quietly took aim at Trump over the issue right before the event began.

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A new webpage touting Biden’s position on cannabis popped up on the Biden-Harris campaign site. The headline reads, “JOE BIDEN IS REFORMING AMERICA’S APPROACH TO MARIJUANA.” The page celebrates the Biden administration’s federal cannabis possession pardons as well as the action taken on reclassifying the plant under the Controlled Substances Act. 

The campaign calls out Trump on the page, saying, “Donald Trump opposes marijuana reform and, as president, made the failed approach worse.” The site points to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision to rescind the Cole Memo, an Obama administration-era policy that protected legal cannabis states from federal interference. 

Trump has been largely silent on the campaign trail when it comes to cannabis reform, but the former president allegedly disagreed with Sessions’s actions, according to Senator Cory Gardner. And while Trump has previously said individual states should have the right to make their own decisions on marijuana, he has also linked “genetically engineered cannabis” with gun violence.

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President Biden has leaned into the cannabis conversation, hoping to win over young voters as well as Black and brown communities. However, the administration has gotten pushback over the perceived conflated impact of cannabis pardons. Additionally, one of the FAQs on the campaign’s cannabis page asks, “What does it mean that Joe Biden made marijuana a Schedule III drug?” It’s important to note that rescheduling has not yet been made official and that it could be months or even years before any decision is final.

So, while the Biden-Harris campaign is certainly the most vocal about marijuana reform, it’s possible the Trump camp could come back swinging. It’s unclear whether the cannabis issue will make or break the November election, but based on the current president’s approach, it’s clearly important enough.

rachelle gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist, Emerald Cup judge, Budist critic, and editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter