Fox News segment attacking Biden cannabis pardons backfires as doctor praises move

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A segment on Fox News which largely criticised president Joe Biden’s decision to pardon people for “simple possession” of marijuana charges was undermined by a doctor speaking in favour of the move.

Earlier on Thursday Mr Biden announced: “Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit.”

He also hit out at the US government’s past treatment of cannabis laws as a “failed approach”.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham invited CPAC chair Matt Schlapp and Dr Russel Kamer, of the health services company Partners In Safety, as guests to discuss the topic on The Ingraham Angle, Mediaite reported.

Noting the president’s decision, Ms Ingraham invited comments from Mr Schlapp who said that Mr Biden is using it as an attempt to “rally his troops” with fewer than five weeks until the midterms.

He added that the president’s decision is more about “winning races” than helping people.

Ms Ingraham then referred to a Bloomberg report that said marijuana is “almost as addictive as opioids in teens”.

“Doctor, this is only going to get worse,” she said to Dr Kamer.

“You can kind of see this train coming down the track. Your reaction tonight?”

Dr Kamer responded: “Yes, well, it definitely is getting worse with the lax attitude towards all drugs in general.

“But I do want to say that president Biden and his pardoning of the marijuana users, I agree with that.

“No one should go to jail simply for smoking a joint. That’s ridiculous. The fact is that president Biden has been very anti-legalisation. So, in those ways, he’s been very good on the topic.”

It is not clear when the pardons announced by the president will take effect.

In his proposals accompanying the announcement, Mr Biden also called on state governors to adopt similar steps as the majority of the marijuana prisoners in the US are incarcerated at the state level, not in federal prisons.