NORML Activist to Meet with Vice President to Discuss Federal Cannabis Policies

NORML Activist and Pardon Recipients, hip-hop artist Fat Joe, and Kentucky Governor Andrew Beshear, to Meet With Vice President Harris on Marijuana Reform, Clemency and Justice
NORML activist to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss federal cannabis policies
NORML activist to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss federal cannabis policies /

In a significant step towards federal marijuana reform, Vice President Kamala Harris is set to meet with NORML activist Chris Goldstein and two other Presidential marijuana pardon recipients at the White House this Friday. The discussion will center on ongoing efforts by the Biden Administration to address federal cannabis policies.

Chris Goldstein, a regional NORML coordinator known for his cannabis activism in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, received a Presidential pardon earlier this year for a misdemeanor marijuana possession conviction dating back to 2014. Goldstein's pardon, along with thousands of others issued by President Joe Biden in October 2022, reflects a growing shift in attitudes towards cannabis at the federal level.

"These Presidential pardons are a powerful and meaningful action," Goldstein remarked. "They carry a tremendous power of goodwill — not just to those of us who received them, but for the entire country."

President Biden's decision to pardon individuals with federal convictions for marijuana possession offenses underscores his commitment to criminal justice reform and marijuana policy. In his State of the Union address, President Biden reiterated his belief that "no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana."

Joining Goldstein at Friday's meeting will be hip-hop artist Fat Joe and Kentucky Governor Andrew Beshear, both of whom have also received Presidential pardons for marijuana-related offenses. Together, they intend to raise awareness about the impact of federal marijuana convictions and advocate for further reform, including the descheduling of cannabis.

Goldstein emphasized the importance of using the meeting with Vice President Harris to highlight the need for additional federal action, such as descheduling or rescheduling marijuana - i.e. moving cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. He noted that thousands of individuals are still eligible for pardons, and increased awareness of the pardon process is essential.

"We will help represent tens of millions of Americans who have been arrested for marijuana in nearly a century of prohibition," Goldstein stated.

Ahead of the White House meeting, Goldstein and NORML's Political Director Morgan Fox will meet with several members of Congress to discuss marijuana reform. Following Friday's discussion, Goldstein and other NORML staff members will participate in a live session to further engage with the public on this pressing issue.

The meeting with Vice President Harris marks a significant milestone in the ongoing push for federal marijuana reform, with advocates like Goldstein leading the charge for change. As momentum continues to build, the voices of those impacted by outdated cannabis policies are being heard at the highest levels of government, signaling hope for a more just and equitable future in cannabis regulation.