Biden announced presidential pardons for thousands of marijuana consumers in his bid to please voters of color ahead of the midterm elections.
In his tweet, Biden noted putting people in jail for marijuana possession destroyed various lives. Furthermore, Biden claimed marijuana prosecutions are motivated by racism, which also needs to end.
Biden Gives Presidential Pardons to Drug Addicts
On Thursday, Biden ordered mass pardons for almost 6,500 people convicted of marijuana possession in federal courts, as well as thousands of people who have been charged with the same crime in Washington, D.C.
In July, Biden told the New York Post he is aiming to fulfill his campaign promise, according to which he was supposed to pardon everyone who is in federal prison for marijuana possession.
Later on, Pennsylvania Lt. Governor and Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman urged Biden to issue mass pardons for the federally charged marijuana consumers, due to the rising public support for the drug.
Today, President Biden pardoned all prior federal and D.C. offenses of simple marijuana possession.@POTUS also called on governors to pardon simple state marijuana possession offenses. pic.twitter.com/PGhVwuruKJ
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 6, 2022
Since 2012, 19 states legalized marijuana use for recreational purposes. Though federal law suggests the possession of the drug for small-scale research purposes is a crime.
Biden also urged different governors to pardon people who are convicted in states for marijuana possession, adding an overwhelming majority of people are in jail due to state laws.
However, Biden’s pardon will only be applicable to people who were found to be simply possessing marijuana. So, everyone who was convicted of distributing the drug will still not be pardoned.
As per congressional estimates, federal prisons are carrying almost 2,700 people guilty of crimes more than the simple possession of marijuana. Some of them are supposed to serve a life sentence in jail.
President Biden just issued the pardon:
“I, Joseph R. Biden Jr., do hereby grant a full, complete, and unconditional pardon to all current United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who committed the offense of simple possession of marijuana.”
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) October 6, 2022
Liberals Back Biden’s Marijuana Pardons
A pro-marijuana advocate, Amy Povah, who campaigns for the mercy of nonviolent marijuana carriers, expressed excitement to see the list of 6,500 marijuana possessors who received a presidential pardon.
The Department of Justice will issue pardon certificates to individual people one by one. Povah added he wants currently incarcerated marijuana users to be released, as they lived in inhumane conditions in jails during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams appreciated Biden for pardoning marijuana consumers.
According to Adams, people of color are disproportionately impacted by marijuana laws. So, Adams continued, Biden made remarkable efforts to treat black communities with equity in the so-called war against drugs.
Under federal law, marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug, which means it could be dangerously used for abuse purposes.
Unlike marijuana, lower-schedule drugs, including cocaine and fentanyl, are easily available for research and prescription purposes.
For a long time, marijuana advocates unsuccessfully tried to reschedule marijuana, especially during the tenure of Barack Obama. As a senator, Biden promoted strict punishment for drug abuses in America back in the 1990s.