Republican Rep. Nancy Mace (SC) on Thursday applauded President Biden’s decision to pardon all those 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 it, but it’s a step in the right direction,” Mace said. told Fox Business Network’s “Kennedy” when asked for his opinion on the move.
Biden announced Thursday that he was take executive action to pardon individuals who have been convicted of simple possession of marijuana federally and in the District of Columbia.
Senior administration officials told reporters the federal pardons would affect 6,500 people.
The order also urges governors to take the same action in their states and directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to “promptly” review how marijuana is enshrined in federal law.
Mace on Thursday called Biden’s executive order a “great first step.”
“It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that needs to be regulated, that needs to…have safeguards to make sure we don’t sell marijuana or cannabis to children and our youth, and to making sure that those who need it for medical reasons, like our veterans who come home with PTSD when they come home from war, can get medical care that won’t make them addicted to very dangerous opioids, and we have a 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 that position,” she added.
Mace wasn’t the only Republican to hail Biden’s decision on Thursday.
Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio), GOP co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, applauded Biden’s order, noting his “recognition of the need for state and local delisting efforts.”
“Today’s announcement from the White House acknowledges two truths: that continued and comprehensive federal prohibition of cannabis is no longer the will of the American electorate, and that the President knows that the approach at all or anything from his party on cannabis reform hasn’t produced results in Congress,” Joyce added in a statement.
The House passed a bill in April legalize marijuana nationwide and eliminate criminal penalties for people who distribute or possess the drug. It would remove cannabis from Schedule I, which includes “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and high potential for abuse.”
In addition to marijuana, heroin and LSD are classified as Schedule I drugs.
The measure, titled Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, passed largely along party lines in a vote of 220 to 204. Mace voted against the bill.
On Thursday, the South Carolina Republican introduced her own legislation, the States Reform Act, which would also remove cannabis from Schedule I. The measure did not receive a vote in the House.