Young Voters’ Reactions to Biden’s Weed Reclassification: What They Think

Home » Young Voters’ Reactions to Biden’s Weed Reclassification: What They Think
Garry Stewart
Written By Steve Brandon

May 13, 2024

young voters' reactions to biden's weed reclassification: what they think

President Biden’s decision to reclassify marijuana has drawn both praise and concern from groups targeting young voters. While some see it as progress, others say it doesn’t go far enough in legalizing marijuana or tackling broader justice issues. This article looks at why Biden’s move matters for young voters on marijuana rescheduling and how they support this change.

Advocacy groups representing young voters have praised President Biden’s decision to reclassify marijuana, seeing it as a positive step toward addressing the issues important to this crucial demographic, which played a significant role in Biden’s electoral victory. The decision to reclassify marijuana as a less harmful substance and acknowledge its medical benefits has sparked enthusiasm from organizations like Voters of Tomorrow. Jack Lobel, a spokesperson for the group, praised the move as “phenomenal,” highlighting its importance in demonstrating the administration’s dedication to addressing concerns that matter to young people. Akua Amaning, director of the Center for American Progress’ criminal justice reform team, emphasized the ongoing legal status of marijuana and its potential to perpetuate the negative impacts of drug enforcement. Amaning’s comments were surrounding the complexities involved in marijuana policy, particularly regarding its relationship to criminal justice reform.

Here are the statistics

A survey by Lake Research Partners in October showed that 58% of 18 to 25-year-old voters favored rescheduling marijuana. 74% of Democrats and 55% of independents favored rescheduling. Support among Republicans was lower at 41%, but younger male and female Republicans showed more support.

The Biden administration’s plan to reclassify marijuana as a less harmful substance acknowledges its lower abuse potential compared to other drugs. Pending approval from the White House Office of Management and Budget, the new rule would also recognize marijuana’s medical uses and grant the cannabis industry access to banking services. Rescheduling marijuana would also pave the way for more research into its potential medical benefits.

In the broader context

Many states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, with recreational use allowed in 24 states and Washington D.C. and medical use permitted in 38 states. During the presidential campaign in 2019, Biden vowed to decriminalize marijuana and clear past convictions related to it. He followed through on this promise by pardoning thousands with marijuana convictions in 2022 and 2023.

A recent Harvard Youth Poll revealed that young adults prioritize issues like inflation, healthcare, and housing, while the Israel/Palestine conflict ranked lower. In commenting on young voters’ priorities, Jack Lobel highlighted the importance of considering the overall landscape when casting votes. He also suggested that Biden’s stance on marijuana policy could attract support from some voters.

young voters' reactions to biden's weed reclassification: what they think

What Do Young Voters from the My MMJ Doctor Team Think about this reclassification?

Members of the My MMJ Doctor see President Biden’s move as a promising and positive step forward. The team appreciates marijuana’s medical benefits and the potential it holds for improving health outcomes. This decision will open doors for research and better access to treatment options, offering hope to many individuals currently seeking relief and alternative treatment for their medical conditions.

Take Away

President Biden’s reclassifying marijuana and easing its restrictions has mixed reactions among young voters. President Biden’s move to reschedule and ease marijuana restrictions has sparked mixed reactions among young voters. While advocacy groups like Voters of Tomorrow commend the decision as a sign of Biden’s concern for youth issues, complexities remain, especially regarding justice reform. The plan acknowledges marijuana’s medical benefits and aims to facilitate research and banking access for the industry. Strong support for marijuana rescheduling is evident, particularly among Democrats and independents. Biden’s past commitments to decriminalization and conviction clearance provide further context. According to Jack Lobel, Biden’s marijuana policy could influence young voters’ support. This shift is particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with health problems.
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