Strategies 64 Blog

Strategies 64 in the News: Politifact

May 22, 2024

National fact-checking nonprofit Politifact reached out to Strategies 64 partner Mason Tvert for its “Biden Promise Tracker” feature on cannabis policy. Specifically, they sought his opinion on whether President Joe Biden’s recent actions around rescheduling cannabis fulfill his 2020 campaign promise to decriminalize the use of cannabis.

Obviously, marijuana has not yet been “decriminalized,” but as Mason pointed out, decriminalizing cannabis would require an act of Congress, and the administration’s efforts are extremely significant.

“[The administration’s rescheduling proposal] is the most significant action any president has ever taken to roll back our nation’s federal prohibition on marijuana, and it is arguably the furthest any president could go in doing so,” Tvert said.

[M]arijuana policy experts said terminology such as “legalization” and “decriminalization” have historically been used loosely, especially by politicians, suggesting that a move to reschedule, like the one now moving toward enactment, may have been what Biden had meant when he made his pledge.

Tvert, a 20-year professional in cannabis policy, said he interpreted Biden’s promise as one to “revisit the federal government’s existing marijuana prohibition laws,” and that he did so by “directing his departments to reexamine the policy and initiate the process of reevaluating its classification under Schedule 1.” The administration, Tvert said, has “followed through on that.”

Based on interviews with Mason and other marijuana policy experts, Politifact concluded Biden’s promise is “In the Works” because it “represents a tangible step forward, but it is not yet officially enacted.”

Back to top