Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate, joined other progressive congressional candidates and members of Congress Thursday in hailing President Joe Biden\u0026#039;s pardon for all people convicted for federal simple federal marijuana possession.\r\n\r\n\u0022I don\u0026#039;t want to hear any bullshit from Dr. Oz or any Republican conflating decriminalizing marijuana with seriously harmful crime.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022This is a BFD and a massive step towards justice,\u0022 Fetterman said in a statement responding to the president\u0026#039;s pardon and directive for U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to \u0022initiate the process of reviewing how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.\u0022\r\n\r\nBecerra answered Biden\u0026#039;s request at precisely 4:20 pm, saying he \u0022is looking forward\u0022 to answering the president\u0026#039;s call to action.\r\n\r\n\u0022When I heard President Biden would be in Pittsburgh a month ago, I knew that if I had a chance to sit down with him, I would use that opportunity to talk about the need to decriminalize marijuana,\u0022 said Fetterman. \u0022And that\u0026#039;s exactly what I did.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022People\u0026#039;s lives should not be derailed because of minor, nonviolent marijuana-related offenses. That\u0026#039;s common sense,\u0022 Fetterman asserted, adding that \u0022too many lives—and lives of Black and Brown Americans in particular—have been derailed by this criminalization of this plant.\u0022\r\n\r\nReferring to Dr. Mehmet Oz, his Republican opponent in the Senate race, Fetterman said, \u0022I don\u0026#039;t want to hear any bullshit from Dr. Oz or any Republican conflating decriminalizing marijuana with seriously harmful crime.\u0022\r\n\r\nOz—who as recently as 2020 said that \u0022we ought to completely change our policy on marijuana,\u0022 which he called \u0022one of the most underused tools in America\u0022—on Thursday attacked Fetterman via campaign communications director Brittany Yannick, who claimed the Democrat \u0022wants to go even further than Biden. He\u0026#039;d decriminalize hard drugs like fentanyl and crystal meth that are literally killing Pennsylvanians.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhile Fetterman formerly favored decriminalizing possession of small amounts of all illicit drugs—as Oregonians voted to do in 2020—he has since narrowed his support for the policy.\r\n\r\n\u0022As mayor of Braddock, I worked to combat serious crime. I know what it looks like,\u0022 he said. \u0022And I know that marijuana just doesn\u0026#039;t fit the bill.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022More than 350,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related offenses in 2020,\u0022 Fetterman noted. \u0022The resources to make those arrests should be going towards combating serious crime—and now they will. This decision will make Americans safer.\u0022\r\n\r\nAs chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, Fetterman has encouraged people with nonviolent marijuana convictions to apply for expedited pardons.\r\n\r\nOther progressive candidates for U.S. Congress also cheered Biden\u0026#039;s announcement, while asserting that the president\u0026#039;s move must be just the first step toward eventual decriminalization and, ultimately, legalization of a plant whose use is legal for either recreational or medical purposes in a vast majority of states.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022Happy 4:20,\u0022 tweeted Summer Lee, a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives who is the Democratic nominee to represent the commonwealth\u0026#039;s 12th Congressional District in the U.S. House.\r\n\r\n\u0022This is a massive step to not only recognize the harm the War on Drugs has done to so many [Black and Brown] folks, but actually pardon so many [people] who were unjustly convicted on marijuana charges,\u0022 she added. \u0022Next, legalize it nationwide and expunge all records.\u0022\r\n\r\nLee tempered her praise by arguing that Biden\u0026#039;s action \u0022misses the mark for many Black folks impacted by drug convictions,\u0022 and illustrates \u0022why we need comprehensive drug reform.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDemocrats in Congress—many of whom have long advocated pardoning nonviolent cannabis offenders—also applauded Biden\u0026#039;s announcement, with the Congressional Progressive Caucus declaring that \u0022the ongoing federal prohibition of marijuana is a vestige of the failed, racist War on Drugs that targeted and devastated Black and Brown communities.\u0022\r\n\r\nRep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) called the president\u0026#039;s move \u0022a monumental decision\u0022 and \u0022a massive step towards reducing mass incarceration.\u0022\r\n\r\nPolling in March by Data for Progress showed that 73% of U.S. voters—including 82% of Democrats, 75% of Independents, and 62% of Republicans—support expunging nonviolent marijuana convictions. Just 22% of survey respondents opposed the policy.\r\n\r\nThe same survey found that 70% of voters backed legalizing marijuana at the federal level, with support strongest among Democrats (78%). A majority, 58%, of Republican respondents also said they favored legalization.