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Congress holds a hearing on three marijuana bills next week



Former Vice President Joe Biden runs again for the White House, he announced Thursday. The former Senator, who served as chairman of the influential Judiciary Committee, which helped shape US drug policy in an era of aggravated scaremongering and criminalization, was for decades one of the most prominent democratic drug warriors in Congress.

And many 2020 democratic candidates Drug policy – and especially marijuana reform – has evolved considerably over the years. Biden has barely moved. He has recognized the long-term damage of some of the laws he supports and has made some efforts to repair the damage. Overall, however, he strongly opposes the legalization of cannabis ̵

1; a stance that sets him apart from any other major Democrat Democrat

Biden served as Vice President under President Barack Obama, and he is proud to be involved in the oversight of criminal matters from the White House was entrusted. For the good of the administration, the Obama Department of Justice was responsible for the adoption of some key changes in drug policy, notably the Cole Communication, which paved the way for state-owned marijuana companies to operate largely without government intervention. But even during Obama's term, the department refused to include various cannabis laws in the books, and refused petitions to move the plant under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

A look at Biden's record of marijuana policy in the past decades reveals a politician whose views on drugs are mostly set in stone and increasingly connected with his party's legislator and voters across the political spectrum. He has sponsored some of the country's most criminal drug laws, including the infamous Crime Law of 1994. In some cases, he has addressed the implications of his anti-drug legislative activism. On closer inspection, however, a pattern emerges: he has long maintained that drugs should generally be illegal, that the criminal justice system is well-equipped to deal with drug-related offenses and that the regulation of marijuana is a mistake.

Here is Joe Biden cannabis and drug policy.

Legislation and Policies

The 1980s were a period of extraordinary upheaval in US drug policy. Lawmakers pushed numerous bills to keep people from using controlled substances through propaganda and detention threats. Biden was among the loudest and most extreme voices supporting anti-drug policies. While the sound has changed over the years, his track record is likely to be a controversy on the Campaign campaign.

Biden introduced the Comprehensive Narcotics Control Act of 1986. The far-reaching anti-drug law called for the creation of a cabinet to develop the federal government's drug control policy – a role that fits the description of the "drug czar" position, a term coined by the senator in 1982 and subsequently created to direct the White House of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

"We need one person to make the decision," Biden said at the time, while also criticizing the Reagan administration's anti-drug efforts, saying, "Their involvement is tiny in dollars. "

The Bill would also have expanded the Department of Justice enforcement authority to confiscate assets in drug matters, and impose a mandatory minimum penalty for offenses involving certain quantities of controlled substances, impose other drug-related penalties, and add new substances to the CSA also approved funds for the US Department of Defense for "Increased Drug Control" – an early indication of what would become an increasingly militarized drug war – and called on the military to "draw up a list of defenses that could be used as detention facilities for criminals.

In addition, legislation has forced the Home Secretary to set up a program to eradicate marijuana on Indian territory. It also included a provision for Congress calling on the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs to create a new international convention "against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances" and called for "more effective implementation of existing narcotics agreements". It was also proposed To provide money for the development of "herbicides for use in the eradication of coca from the air", which would later become an important part of the controversial "Plan Colombia" program.

In 1989, Biden passed a law requiring the United States to propose a program to the United Nations that could be partially indebted if Member States had undertaken to use resources to reduce international drug trafficking. One country that could reap these rewards, for example, would be to increase "seizures" of drugs, including marijuana.

Another comprehensive anti-drug law introduced by the senator was called the Federal Crime Control Act of 1989. The legislation would have extended the asset management authorities to seek bail on individuals convicted of drug-related offenses and ordered that the Attorney General "aggressively use criminal, civil and other remedies … for drug-related offenses.

It has been proposed to authorize the President to declare that a state or part of a state is a "drug-dealing area" entitled to "up to $ 50 million" for each individual drug-related emergency. "[19659002] Under the laws, the Department of Justice would set up a new department that aims to maintain or increase the level of enforcement measures relating to criminal activities, teering, narcotics, money laundering, loss of assets, international crime and civilian enforcement. "It should have" at least 20 field offices "at least ten international Drug Enforcement Teams."

Biden also introduced the National Drug Control Strategy Act in 1990. It contained a number of terrible provisions that included the Restrict drug use including the establishment of "boot camp military prisons" as an alternative means of conviction for persons convicted of drug offenses who had tested a positive substance for a controlled substance at the time of arrest or arrest.

The legislation also called for the requirement that a drug test be passed as a condition of probation or parole before a penalty is imposed, and then undergo at least two drug tests. Federal employees working in a department dealing with children must also pass a background examination and state that any drug conviction based on a personal file is excluded from employment.

Then there is the Propaganda provision of the bill, under which the director states that ONDCP should "provide resources to support members of the film and television industry in the production of programs containing anti-drug messages. "

If that were not enough, the bill would also have granted funding under the Arms Exports Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act to train and assist the military and law enforcement agencies in their anti-drug production and trafficking activities. Another provision would have encouraged the Central Intelligence Agency to improve human intelligence to fight international drug trafficking.

Biden passed a law on the death penalty in 1990, which was later supplemented with a provision known as Drug Kingpin Death, which required the death penalty for anyone killing a dead man during a drug crime and the boss was a criminal enterprise that condemned to life imprisonment.

"There is now a death sentence," he later said on a floor of the 1991 speech , "If you're a major drug dealer, involved in drug trafficking and causing murder in your activities, go to death."

In the same speech, he announced the extension of civilian custody and said the "government" can bring everything you own from your car to your home in your bank account. The proposal also increased the penalties for certain drug offenses committed near schools or colleges, and instructed the Attorney General to "develop a model program for policies and tactics" It stated that drug offenses committed by adolescents will be treated as "criminal offenses justifying adult criminal prosecution", funds for the establishment of a national drug-use and related crime hotline and the approval of "price information or support payments leading to civil or criminal foreclosure.

The Senate passed the amended legislation, and Biden was one of those who voted in favor.

The 1991 Biden Thurmond Act on Violent Crime, sponsored by the Senator alongside the segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC), proposed that people with "serious drug-related offenses" should be prohibited from buying firearms and one five-year sentence for the possession of firearms to impose "serious drug offenders."

An amended version of the bill that Biden voted for also made the state's marijuana laws more punishable by reducing "the number of marijuana plants needed to qualify for certain penalties" from 100 to 50 called for those sentenced for drug abuse to be sentenced to life imprisonment without dismissal.

In addition, the law would have increased the penalties for using a controlled substance in public housing, expanded the definition of "drug supplies" to the CSA to include things like scales and syringes, and banned the promotion of Schedule I medicines such as Cannabis.

In 19 93, Biden filed a petition for the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, a bill authorizing the Director of the US Administration Bureau to set up a drugs test program for federal offenders for "release after conviction." Increase penalties for those convicted of drug use in "drug-free" zones and ban advertising "that seeks to illegally recruit or sell drugs."

. In addition, state and federal court officials would report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and prosecutors the name and tax identification number of people accused of drug abuse, money laundering, or criminal acts, and who are depositing cash for over $ 10,000.

In the following year he passed a separate legislation of a similar name. While this version was postponed indefinitely in the Senate, the House Accompaniment Act – the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, also colloquially referred to as the Crime Law – passed both chambers and was enacted by President Bill Clinton in September 1994. Biden voted in favor of the legislation, which has since become known as one of the largest mass transit drivers in the US.

Among other things, the federal drug screening program for prisoners was established as part of the widespread law against crime German: www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…ew&id=6 # 1991 Drug killings are punishable by death penalty, the penalties for drug trafficking have been increased in "drug – free" zones, the president has been able to declare "drug emergencies" and "take measures to alleviate the emergency". Englisch: www.germnews.de/archive/products/index.html. 1997/05 / 28.html The courts had to provide the Federal Investigation Office with information about adolescents convicted of drug offenses.

Death penalty to defend the crime, he helped write against criticism that it was too soft. He emphasized in a 1994 floor speech that the legislation included "60 new death sentences – brand new."

Biden supported a bill in 1997 to found the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program ONDCP.

The Senator, who made great efforts to be friendly for the prosecution, also introduced a resolution in 2008 calling for the "Appointment of Drug Enforcement Administration Men and Women" to mark the department's 35th anniversary and, in particular, the agency encouraged records of "aggressively targeting organizations involved in growing, manufacturing and distributing such substances as marijuana."

"The Senate … thanks all the DEA men and women for their past and continued efforts to defend the United States population from the scourge of illicit drugs and terrorism," the resolution said.

In 2003, Biden sponsored a bill to change the CSA to "knowingly lease, rent or we are banned" or deliberately benefit from any location … whether permanently or temporarily, to create a controlled substance store, distribute or use. "The Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act, which later became the Americans' susceptibility to ecstasy (RAVE) Act, has been blamed for conducting festivals and music events that make drugs like MDMA less safe by preventing operators from providing harm reduction services on the ground, fearing that they would be prosecuted for deliberately allowing drug use. Later, he also provided a later version.

Biden had also filed a series of controversial anti-drug bills submitted by other legislators during his time in the Senate.

He was the leading Democrat contributor to Thurmond's Reform Act in 1981. The Bill would have increased penalties for drug trafficking, including "large amounts" of marijuana. The following year, Biden also appeared as a leading Democratic co-sponsor of Thurmond's Law on Violent Crime and Drug Enforcement Improvements, which could have expanded federal asset management agencies and led adolescents to be convicted of violent or drug-related crime and drug use to adult tribunals will set up a new office to "plan and coordinate drug enforcement efforts" for the federal government.

Another Thurmond law, which Biden signed in 1983, proposed an expansion of state asset management authorities.

When states began to authorize medical cannabis in 1998, the Senator supported a resolution "in support of the existing federal legislative procedure to determine the safety and efficacy of medicinal products, including marijuana and other Schedule I medicines, for medical use. "

" Congress continues to support the existing federal legislative process to determine the safety and efficacy of medicines and rejects efforts to circumvent this process by adding marijuana and other Schedule I medicines for medical use without valid scientific evidence and approval from the FDA It also expressed concern about "ambiguous cultural messages about the use of marijuana contributing to the growing acceptance of marijuana use in children and adolescents" and "legalizing food and drug administration." expressed the support of the federal authorities, which enforce the ban "by seizure and other civil and criminal penalties". 19659002] Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the main sponsor of the resolution, described it as follows: "Our resolution addresses the efforts of drug legalization in the country, marijuana and other dangerous drugs on the street, in our homes and in our homes to get our schools. These groups have been trying for years. Unfortunately, they were reasonably successful.

Biden was an original co-sponsor of another infamous drug abuse law, the Anti Drug Abuse Act of 1986. The House version, for which he voted, was ultimately signed by the law president Ronald Reagan. It is best known that there are differences between crack and powder cocaine. A crack-to-power cocaine ratio of 1: 100 was established, with one gram of crack corresponding to 100 grams of powder cocaine under the law. The provision led to significant racial differences in the criminal justice system.

The law also included various penalties for marijuana and other drugs and created a "eradication program for marijuana cultivation in the Indian country".

Twenty years later, Biden funded a bill attempting to offset the differences between crack-powder cocaine by increasing the amount of cocaine that would qualify a person for a compulsory minimum sentence and the mandatory minimum of five years for The first possession of crack has been eliminated by cocaine. The discrepancy was eventually reduced when Congress passed a bill in 2010 that lowered the weight ratio from 100: 1 to 18: 1 for crack compared to powder cocaine. The law was signed while Biden served as vice president.

The Senator also voted in favor of the Anti Drug Abuse Act of 1988, which formally established ONDCP, which was given its first possession of crack a five-year compulsory minimum sentence, also includes provisions to reinforce drug treatment and preventive efforts. Biden pointed out that the law, which became law, "contains many provisions that we have sponsored in the past."

Biden voted in 1999 for a comprehensive omnibus law that included language that induced the drug czar "to take such action." It was necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance "in Appendix I.

The Congress also expressed the feeling of Congress that" the various states and citizens of these states legalize drugs through legislation should reject proposal, constitutional amendment or other means "and reaffirmed its opposition to" efforts to legalize marijuana for medical purposes without valid scientific evidence and the approval of the Food and Drug Administration. "

Curiously, Biden once petitioned for nearly half a million dollars for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), the antidrug campaign for teens that became popular in the 1990s. Harper & # 39; s pointed out that the main lobbyist for DARE had previously worked under Biden when he chaired the Judiciary Committee and also contributed $ 2,300 to the Senator prior to the request.

Quotes and Social Media Contributions

There is no mention of Marijuana Biden's social media feeds. That does not mean that he did not talk about the subject. However, unlike other nominees for the Democrats, the quotes that one finds while searching his past do not support reforms. Mostly it's just the opposite.

In a 1974 Washington article, the Senator – then 31 years old, to make him the youngest Senate Senate – attempted to distance himself from being identified as liberal. While arguing that he was progressive in terms of "civil rights and civil rights," he said, "When it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I'm about as liberal as your grandmother."

"Not me, I think marijuana should be legalized," he said.

About three and a half decades later, in 2010, the then vice president said, "I still think it's a gateway drug "I spent all my life as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and I think it would be a mistake to achieve legalization."

"The punishment should fit the crime," he said, "but I think legalization is a mistake. "

In 1989, President George W. Bush spoke in front of the nation in a television broadcast to explain the government's drug control strategy, but his proposals also failed to satisfy Biden's thirst for a tougher and more criminal approach, ceding the Democratic Party response

"Every president of the last two decades – Democrat and Republican – has declared war against drugs – and each of them has ha I lost this war and lost miserably, "Biden said. "They lost because they tried to solve only part of the drug problem. They lost because their initiatives were torn apart by bureaucratic strife between their advisors. They have lost because they have always done too little and too late.

"The problem is that the President's proposals are not big enough to solve the problem. His rhetoric does not match the resources we need to get the job done. To be honest, the President's plan is not hard enough, brave enough or resourceful enough to face the crisis. "

Throughout his time as Vice President of the White House, Biden has always taken a contrary stance on proposals for marijuana reform. He said in 2012 he had "serious doubts that decriminalization would have a major impact on the revenues of violent criminal organizations, as these organizations have diversified into criminal activity beyond drug trafficking"

. During a trip to Mexico Biden, Latin American countries discouraged the legalization of marijuana and argued that, while understanding their interest in alternative approaches to curb prohibition-related violence, the pros of legalization would be outweighed by consumers.

"I think it justifies a discussion. That's perfectly legitimate, "he said. "And the reason for a discussion is that you find in the investigation that there are more issues with legalization than with non-legalization."

He was asked in 2014 if he advocated legalization and said broke "No" However, he added: "The idea Concentrating significant resources on banning or condemning people for smoking marijuana is a waste of our resources. "And he" [s] supported the President's policy of "non-interference in state laws through the Cole memo."

Our government is still not legalized, and that is and remains our policy, "Biden said.

"But in the area of ​​criminal justice, the good news is that the president initially asked two things that I wanted to have some kind of day-to-day justice and I said the portfolio against violence against women and law enforcement, police" He said in the same interview with TIME Magazine and reaffirmed his role in shaping the government's policy. "When we put the budget together, I was basically the man who has the last say in criminal justice, like me I'm still an important person along with the attorney general with law enforcement, with the criminal justice system and all the issues related to violence against women. "

" In the area of ​​criminal justice, I am not just the type of the crime and the drug czar but I'm also the guy who spent years as chairman of the Judiciary Committee and chairman of [the Senate Foreign Relations Committee] and ver sought to change drug policies, for example, in relation to cocaine. Crack and powder. I mean, I've worked there for the past five years, and Durbin keeps working. And [New York Senator Chuck] Schumer. And the President shares that. And I'm still busy with these things … In the meantime, there have been a few things, from marijuana to drug control. And I had another job. When I'm there, when we're both in town, I attend each meeting [Obama]. "

Biden has spent a lot of time talking about the importance of the position of the drug czar, an idea for which he made a strong commitment to creation. And William Bennett, the first to serve in this role and one of the "architects" of the drug war, shared an anecdote about how Biden saw his achievement in 2018. According to Benniden, Biden told the man who once said he had not disturbed the idea of ​​publicly beheading drug dealers.

As a Senator, Biden backed an interventionist initiative in 1999 aimed at disrupting drug cartels and a group of political rebels in Colombia. Part of this plan involved spraying airborne herbicides on coca plants, causing health problems for people on the ground and environmental damage. At the time, however, he was criticized and maintained his belief that the intervention was a success in a 2015 New York Times editorial.

"In 1999, we launched Plan Colombia to combat drug trafficking, poverty and institutional corruption. combined with a vicious uprising – that threatened to turn Colombia into a failed state, "wrote the then vice president. "Fifteen years later, Colombia is a nation that has transformed."

In 2007, Biden defended his approval for an additional border fence by spreading a myth that has since been repeatedly repeated by President Donald Trump "Voted for the fence who had to do with drugs. "

"A fence will stop 20 kilos of cocaine coming through this fence and it will not prevent anyone from climbing above or above it," Biden said, although the vast majority of drug smuggling takes place in legal ports of entry. "And it is not only for illegal immigrants, but also for a serious drug problem we have. "

In 2016, he was asked if he regretted having endorsed the 1994 crime legislation, Biden said," Not at all. "

"If you look at the Criminal Law and the Law on Crime Law, the vast majority of people turned to reducing the sentences and preventing people from going to jail for drug offenses – which I set out to do – in drug courts boot camps instead of people jail so that you did not regain everything you ever got here, "he said." We had tremendous success. "

"There are things I would change," he said, citing a jacking determination he wanted to add. "But by and large, what it really did did restore the American cities."

Aber im Januar 2019, als Biden sich auf einen Präsidentschaftslauf vorbereitete, schien er weniger optimistisch zu sein, seine Rolle bei der Gestaltung der Welt der Strafjustiz zu verteidigen entstand aus den 1990er Jahren.

"Ich hatte nicht immer Recht", sagte er. „Ich weiß, dass wir nicht immer alles richtig gemacht haben, aber ich habe es immer versucht.“

Er fügte hinzu, dass die Verurteilung von Ungleichheiten wegen Crack und Kokain „eine ganze Generation gefangen hat“, und die Gesetzgebung „fügte hinzu, dass dies ein großer Fehler gewesen sei wurde gemacht. ”

Ungefähr ein Jahrzehnt nachdem Biden mitgeholfen hatte, einige der wichtigsten Anti-Drogen-Gesetze des Landes in Kraft zu setzen, sprach er sich schließlich gegen das Verurteilen von Ungleichheiten für Crack gegenüber Pulverkokain aus und er erkannte auch seine Rolle bei der Gestaltung des Strafrechtssystem, um diese Strafen auszugeben.

„Ich könnte zu Beginn in voller Offenlegung sagen, ich bin der Mann, der diese Gesetzgebung vor Jahren mit einem Kerl namens Daniel Patrick Moynihan ausgearbeitet hat, der als Senator aus New York an der Universität New York lebte Zeit “, sagte Biden bei einer Anhörung im Senat 2008.„ Und Crack war neu. “

„ Es war eine neue 'Epidemie', mit der wir konfrontiert waren. Zu dieser Zeit hatten wir ein umfangreiches medizinisches Zeugnis, in dem über die besonders süchtig machende Natur von Crack gegenüber pulverförmigem Kokain gesprochen wurde. Die Denkschule bestand darin, dass wir alles tun mussten, um den Konsum von Crack-Kokain abzubringen. Und so bin ich Teil des Problems, das ich seitdem zu lösen versuchte, weil ich denke, dass die Ungleichheit aus dem Gleichgewicht gerät. “

Biden hat auch das„ Drei-Streik-System “charakterisiert, zu dem Menschen verurteilt werden würden Das Leben, nachdem er von drei gewalttätigen Verbrechen verurteilt worden war, wurde als „simpel“ eingestuft und dagegen argumentiert.

„Ich denke, wir hatten alle erforderlichen Mindestwerte, die wir brauchen“, sagte Biden 1993. „Wir brauchen keine das haben wir. “

Als Biden im Senat war, sagte er Berichten zufolge den Mitarbeitern, er solle die Menschen jedes Mal an ihn denken, wenn sie die Worte„ Drogen “und„ Verbrechen “hörten jede Woche neue Anhörungen zu Drogen und Kriminalität – jede Verbindung, egal wie weit entfernt. “

Aber im modernen politischen Klima, wo die Wähler die Politik zur Reform der harten Drogengesetze, die Biden durchgesetzt hat, zunehmend unterstützen wird ihn wahrscheinlich nicht besonders begehren, besonders unter De mocrats.

Zuletzt erschien Biden im April 2019 in einem Gremium, das der Opioid-Epidemie gewidmet war. Während dieses Panels behauptete eine Professorin, dass Schmerzpatienten, die Cannabis konsumieren, die gleichen Schmerzniveaus haben und ihre Einnahme von Opioid-Schmerzmitteln nicht reduzieren, und sie kritisierte die staatlichen Maßnahmen, medizinisches Marihuana zuzulassen. Biden applaudierte dem Vortrag und schien dem Gast neben ihm "sie hat Recht" zu flüstern.

Er sagte auch, dass "ein bisschen Schmerz nicht schlimm ist" an einer Stelle während des Podiums. Es scheint, als hätte sich Biden seit 2007 nicht viel weiterentwickelt, als er sich für das Präsidentenamt beworben hatte und auch über "Schmerzbehandlung und chronische Schmerzbehandlung" in den USA geklagt hat und gesagt hat, dass es "eine bessere Antwort als Marihuana geben muss".

"Es muss eine bessere Antwort geben als diese", sagte er zu der Zeit und gestattete, dass er zumindest die staatlichen Razzien gegen staatlich-rechtliche medizinische Cannabis-Patienten und -Anbieter stoppen wollte. "Es muss einen besseren Weg für eine humane Gesellschaft geben, um herauszufinden, wie mit diesem Problem umzugehen ist."

Die Website der Kampagne Biden 2020 enthält keine Unterstützung für spezifische Cannabis-Reformmaßnahmen, sondern sagt, das Land müsse "reformieren" the criminal justice system to prioritize prevention, eliminate racial disparities that don't fit the crime, and help make sure formerly incarcerated individuals who have served their sentences are able to fully participate in our democracy and economy.”

Personal Experience With Marijuana

At the same time that Biden has been one of the most vociferous defenders of harsh, anti-drug policies, he has also seen people close to him impacted by drug criminalization. His daughter Ashley was arrested for marijuana possession and allegedly used cocaine in a video that a “friend” of hers attempted to sell for $2 million. And his son Hunter was kicked out of the military after testing positive for cocaine during a randomized drug test.

It does not appear that Biden has publicly commented on any personal experience he has had with marijuana or other drugs.

Marijuana Under A Biden Presidency

It will be interesting to see how Biden addresses questions about marijuana and drug policy in general when put on stage alongside a crowd of other candidates that uniformly support legalization. Will he double down in his opposition or make vague promises not to crack down on legal cannabis states? Could he be pushed even further—to a point where he comes out in support of modest marijuana reform legislation such as allowing banks to service state-legal cannabis businesses? Or will be endorse legalization outright in an effort to take the issue off the table?

For now, a review of Biden’s record signals that he would not likely be a champion for marijuana reform if elected president.

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