President Joe Biden on Thursday took the first steps toward decriminalizing marijuana in what Joan McCarter aptly framed as his own “October surprise.” Biden plans to pardon all federal offenses of simple marijuana possession while urging all governors to do the same. He is also instructing Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to review how the drug is treated under federal law.
“We classify marijuana at the same level as heroin – and more serious than fentanyl. It makes no sense,” Biden tweeted from his @Potus account.
Not only is moving toward decriminalization the right and just move, but it’s also a political winner for Democrats.
Among registered voters, 69% support legalizing marijuana, according to Civiqs tracking.
Among young voters ages 18-34, support for legalization spikes to 82%.
But hold on to your hats, folks, young Democratic voters 18-34 absolutely love it—90% support.
It’s difficult to overstate how important that final demographic group is to Democratic chances this fall. Young voters turned out at historic rates in both 2018 and 2020, helping to deliver the House, the Senate, and the White House to Democrats.
For Democrats to defy expectations this fall, young voters must turn out at historic rates once again. The White House and Democrats keep giving that key demographic incredible reasons to believe that government really can improve their lives while making America a more fair and just country in the process:
- Taking initial steps to decriminalize marijuana.
- Granting up to $20,000 in student debt cancellation.
- Making a historic $370 billion investment in combatting climate change.
- Pledging to codify abortion rights into federal law.
Young voters likely won’t be aware of every one of those issues, but if they hear about any one of them or any combination of them, it will undoubtedly give them a good reason to get to the polls.