We’ve highlighted four names from the group President Biden has chosen to shape federal policy under his administration and analyzed what each of their selections might mean for cannabis.
The new administration has been sworn in, the Senate gavel has been passed to the Democrats, and the country’s leadership is almost fully set. One major step remains: the Cabinet nomination and approval process.
As we saw from the previous administration, Cabinet members can have a massive impact on the direction of the country, especially as it relates to cannabis policy. With a thin Democratic majority in Congress and a longtime moderate in the White House, the battle for fair cannabis laws is far from over.
Advocates are now looking to Biden’s Cabinet for clues on how the incoming administration will handle cannabis laws. Like the president they’ll be working under, the group doesn’t have a strong positive or negative stance on the plant. But taking a closer look at the previous records of the cabinet members announced so far can provide clues as to what we can expect from the incoming executive branch on cannabis laws.
Attorney General: Merrick Garland
Before 2021, Garland was best known for being President Obama’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court of the United States in 2016. After his Senate hearing was blocked by Republicans, Garland became an early symbol of the kind of Trump-era partisanship that still divides the country today. It appears Garland will get the chance to serve at the highest level of the federal government, but in a different branch: Biden announced his nomination as AG in the first week of January.
Garland, a Democrat who served as Washington, D.C.’s chief judge from 2013 to 2020, hasn’t come out directly against or in favor of