House

GOP Rep. Nancy Mace praises Biden on marijuana pardons: ‘Credit where credit is due’

Republican Rep. Nancy Mace (S.C.) on Thursday applauded President Biden’s decision to pardon all individuals convicted of simple possession of marijuana under federal law, giving the White House “credit where credit is due.”

“I want to give credit where credit is due. I don’t always agree with the Biden administration, I’ve been very vocal about that, but this is a step in the right direction,” Mace told Fox Business Network’s “Kennedy” when asked for her thoughts on the move.

Biden announced on Thursday that he was taking executive action to grant pardons to people who have been convicted of simple possession of marijuana on the federal level and in the District of Columbia.

Senior administration officials told reporters that the pardons on the federal level will impact 6,500 people.

The order also urges governors to take the same action in their states and orders the secretary of Health and Human Services and the attorney general to “expeditiously” review how marijuana is scheduled in federal law.

Mace on Thursday called Biden’s executive order “a great first step.”

“This is a multibillion-dollar industry that needs regulation, that needs to … have some guardrails to ensure that we’re not selling marijuana or cannabis to kids and our youth, and to ensure that also those that need it for medical reasons, like our veterans that have PTSD when they come home from war, can get medical care that isn’t going to get them addicted to very dangerous opioids, and we have an opioid crisis in our country,” Mace said. 

“And so I applaud the president, I’m going to give credit where credit is due and agree with him on this position,” she added.

Mace was not the only Republican to praise Biden’s move on Thursday.

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio), a GOP co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, applauded Biden’s order, pointing out his “recognition of the need for state and local level expungement efforts.”

“Today’s announcement from the White House recognizes two truths: that continued and complete federal cannabis prohibition is no longer the will of the American electorate, and that the President knows his party’s all-or-nothing approach to cannabis reform has failed to produce results in Congress,” Joyce added in a statement.

The House passed a bill in April legalizing marijuana across the country and eliminating criminal penalties for individuals who distribute or possess the drug. It would remove cannabis from Schedule I, which includes “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

In addition to marijuana, heroin and LSD are classified as Schedule I drugs.

The measure, titled the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, passed largely along party lines in a 220-204 vote. Mace voted against the bill.

On Thursday, the South Carolina Republican plugged her own legislation, the States Reform Act, which would also remove cannabis from Schedule I. The measure has not received a vote in the House.

Tags Biden Congressional Cannabis Caucus Dave Joyce Dave Joyce Department of Health and Human Services Fox Business Network Joe Biden Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act marijuana possession Nancy Mace Nancy Mace States Reform Act Washington D.C.

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