Heady NJ White House National Weed Legalization

Advocate & Heady NJ Guest Writer Chris Goldstein attended Vice President Kamala Harris’ National Weed Legalization Roundtable with the Rapper Fat Joe at the White House.

Heady NJ White House National Weed Legalization Fat Joe

(Photo courtesy of Chris Goldstein of himself with the Rapper Fat Joe on the left.)

“For too many, our criminal justice has failed,” Harris admitted.

Meeting at the White House

She said they have worked on other issues of police brutality and similar initiatives. They have done so to ensure civil rights are not violated and to help felons or the formerly incarcerated reintegrate back into society.

“Historically, there are disparities that follow racial lines in the criminal system,” Harris noted. “Nobody should have to go to jail for smoking weed. Far too many people have been sent to jail for simple marijuana possession.”

She added that Blacks and Latinos are four times as likely to go to jail for weed. This is a fact that has often been repeated by weed legalization advocates.

Harris noted their federal pardons issued for simple possession.

“We have issued a call for states to pardon these types of offenses,” she explained.

Harris said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) has set up a process for people to apply for pardons.

National Weed Legalization Process Initiated by White House Ongoing

“We have directed the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to reassess how marijuana is classified under the federal drug schedule. They need to get to it as quickly as possible. We need to have a resolution based on their findings and assessment,” she declared.

Unfortunately, Harris did not give an update on the process. She also did not say which way she wanted national weed legalization to go.

“Marijuana is considered as dangerous as heroin and more dangerous than fentanyl, which is absurd,” she noted.

The noted Rapper Fat Joe also got a pardon from President Joe Biden.

Inside the West Wing

The meeting was held in the Roosevelt Room of the West Wing.

“The Vice President wants to see marijuana legalized,” Goldstein explained. 

“The White House… could still deschedule cannabis. I did not encounter any shyness,” he added.

Goldstein said they seem committed to national weed legalization.

“It seems they’re going to keep up the conversation on this. It’s not a one-off talk,” he noted.

“It felt like a great responsibility to be there. We tried our best to represent Everyone. This is an important moment. This is the first White House to act like this,” Goldstein explained.

He said the pardons were a good first step. However, sweeping change is needed to enact historical reform.

Longtime NORML NJ Cannabis Advocate Chris Goldstein

Goldstein is a longtime National Organization for the Reform Of Marijuana Laws (NORML) advocate as the Regional Coordinator for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

He was arrested at a weed legalization protest in Philadelphia in 2014.

Goldstein is an advocate of Descheduling marijuana rather than the Schedule III option, which would not likely lead to the market with social equity. Several United States Senators including New Jersey’s Cory Booker have advocated for descheduling.

He has been tracking weed bills in the New Jersey legislature and has been quoted as an advocate in Heady NJ. for many years. He has been an especially passionate activist for legal cannabis home grow in the Garden State, where it remains a felony.

Goldstein has been a leader in the broad New Jersey weed legalization movement since the 2000s.

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Dan Ulloa
Dan Ulloa is the Editor and Publisher of Heady NJ, with a background in politics, journalism, and a passion for the cannabis community. He curates and publishes news, events, and insights on the industry. Dan has been a leading voice in the New Jersey cannabis scene, educating and informing the public about this rapidly evolving industry. He ranked #35 on the INSIDER NJ Cannabis Power List out of 100 in 2022.