President Joe Biden has announced he plans to pardon “thousands of people who had prior federal convictions for possessing marijuana,” according to The Daily Wire.
Biden argued that incarcerating people for violating “marijuana laws” has “upended too many lives” and that it is wrong to inprison people “for conduct that many states no longer prohibit.”
Claiming that drug laws have a racial component, Biden said:
“Criminal records for marijuana possession have also imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. And while white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.”
The president continued: “I am announcing a pardon of all prior Federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana. I have directed the Attorney General to develop an administrative process for the issuance of certificates of pardon to eligible individuals.”
Biden also noted there “are thousands of people who have prior Federal convictions for marijuana possession, who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result.”
Segueing to speak directly to state leaders, Biden urged governors to follow his example, saying “people should not be in a local jail or state prison” for violating marijuana drug laws — particularly if those laws have since been repealed.
Biden also noted he was directing Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to move to decriminalize the use and sale of marijuana by reviewing how cannabis is “scheduled” under federal law.
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