Pennsylvania Democrat Senate candidate John Fetterman called on President Joe Biden to legalize marijuana on the federal level, ahead of a joint appearance with the president at Pittsburgh's Labor Day parade next week.
"The president needs to use his executive authority to begin de-scheduling marijuana," Fetterman said. "I would love to see him do this prior to his visit to Pittsburgh. This is just common sense, and Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support decriminalizing marijuana."
The Keystone State's lieutenant governor, Fetterman is trying to flip a Senate seat for Democrats in what is projected to be a banner year for Republicans.
The White House said it had no plans to decriminalize the drug prior to Biden's appearance at the Pittsburgh event.
"I don't have anything right now to announce," press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
The policy rift underscores the tense relationship some swing state Democrat candidates have with the president and de facto leader of their party.
Encouraged by Biden's recent approval ratings uptick — from a low of 36% to 42% — Fetterman and other Democrat candidates have become increasingly open to making appearances with him on the campaign trail.
When Biden visited Pittsburgh in January, Fetterman was noticeably absent and was also not on hand when the president visited Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday, according to the Washington Examiner.
Former Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chair T.J. Rooney told the news outlet that people shouldn't read too much into Fetterman's lack of joint appearances with Biden.
"I don't think it should be interpreted as trying to duck the event or the president," Rooney said. "He supports the president and the president supports him. And that's not going to change."
A big proponent of marijuana legalization, the Pennsylvania lieutenant governor caused a stir with state Republicans two years ago for flying a cannabis flag outside his office in Harrisburg, according to ABC 27.
The legislature later banned flags not approved by lawmakers from flying at the state Capitol, but Fetterman continued.
Despite a 2020 Gallup Poll that found 83% of Democrats support widespread marijuana legalization, Biden is a longtime opponent of marijuana use, setting him apart from most of his own party on the issue.
Biden was born in Pennsylvania and the state flipped from former President Donald Trump to Biden in 2020, helping him clinch the presidency.
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