President Joe Biden is expunging criminal records and wants states to fall in line
Hoping to start a trend, President Joe Biden has decided to launch a pardon for Americans convicted of simple possession of cannabis under federal law. A pardon is a special measure of grace by which the competent authority pardons a person from all or part of the penalty to which he or she was sentenced under a final judgment. This has been one of the few actions the POTUS has been willing to take regarding marijuana since he began his term in office.
During a statement in which the President announced the general approval of marijuana, Biden is clear that no person should be behind bars just for possessing or using marijuana. “Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana,” he added in a statement. “It’s time that we right these wrongs.”
Governors have been one of Biden’s target audiences, whom he is asking to be able to take similar measures in their respective jurisdictions. There are already states where the governor has given the green light to such actions, such as Massachusetts. In the Bay State, people are allowed to carry one ounce of cannabis and up to five grams of any concentration outside their home, including edibles and any other product derived from the plant.
Biden’s move does not come until long after he said during his 2019 candidacy that marijuana is a gateway drug and could lead to more serious abuse. However, the change in that stance was met with a great deal of applause during his speech yesterday.
“The President’s action today will help secure housing and jobs for thousands of people in America, and reduce other barriers that have prevented formerly incarcerated individuals from successfully entering society,” assured Boston US Representative Ayanna Pressley. While Biden’s pardon would not free anyone, it would open the way for 6,500 people to receive those trends from their records.