4/20 No: Psaki blows smoke as reporters roll on Biden pledge to free pot prisoners

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WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday declined to say if President Biden will honor his campaign promise to release “everyone” jailed for pot.

Psaki was blasted with 4/20 questions on the unofficial pot holiday — with one reporter joking that his colleagues “are potentially celebrating,” motioning across the White House briefing room.

But it was Psaki left blowing smoke on whether Biden actually plans to free prisoners — or if he would sign a bill from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to federally legalize pot.

Kristin Fisher of Fox News asked Psaki at her daily briefing about a report in The Post on inmates asking Biden to honor his pledge to free them.

Fisher asked Psaki, “Some people in prison on marijuana charges are asking President Biden to keep his campaign promise and release them. Where is President Biden on keeping that campaign promise?”

But Psaki deflected and said Biden wants to lower marijuana from a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act to Schedule II. She said that “rescheduling cannabis as a Schedule II drug, that is also going to have an impact on the criminal justice system.”

Schedule II drugs include fentanyl and cocaine, which are illegal to possess except in tightly controlled medical situations. Schedule I drugs, by contrast, are deemed by the feds to have no accepted medical use.

Psaki refused to say if Biden would sign Schumer’s federal legalization bill in response to a different question, saying, “They have not yet passed a bill.”

In response to another question about why Biden opposes outright legalization despite broad public support, Psaki said, “We understand the movement that’s happening toward it. I’m speaking for what his position is and what’s long and consistently been his position. He wants to decriminalize but again he’ll look at the research of the positive and negative impacts.”

In response to yet another question — on whether Biden would release a specific marijuana inmate, Luke Scarmazzo — Psaki said that Biden supports medical marijuana as well as “decriminalizing marijuana use and automatically expunging any prior criminal records.”

That reporter noted that Trump freed seven people serving life in prison on his final day in office. Two of those men were jailed for life for pot as a direct result of Biden’s 1994 crime law, which he wrote as a senator.

Although pot possession remains a federal crime, most states allow medical marijuana and 18 states plus DC have approved recreational pot under local law either by voter initiative or legislation. A recent national poll by Quinnipiac University found 69 percent support for legalizing pot, with 62 percent of Republicans in favor.

Biden wrote some of the nation’s harshest drug laws, but moved toward supporting reform as he ran for president.

Biden said in 2019: “I think we should decriminalize marijuana, period. And I think everyone – anyone who has a record – should be let out of jail, their records expunged, be completely zeroed out.“

Ismael Lira, 43, and Pedro Moreno, 61, are among the federal inmates still held with life sentences for pot. They both were convicted of distributing marijuana imported from Mexico and told The Post they’d like Biden to honor his promise.

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