President Biden pardons thousands of marijuana possession convictions

President Biden pardons thousands of marijuana possession convictions

Changing America’s response to a drug that has been the focus of a cultural and policing clash for more than half a century marks a fundamental shift.

Mr. Biden did not call for the complete decriminalization of marijuana, which would require congressional action. However, he commented on Twitter that the federal government still needs to limit marijuana trafficking, marketing, and underage sales.

During his 36 years as a senator, Mr. Biden passed several laws that laid the groundwork for mass incarceration as part of his evolution on criminal justice. During the campaign, he apologized for portions of his more aggressive measures, the 1994 crime bill, and campaigned to provide more leniency to nonviolent drug offenders. Advocacy groups have urged Mr. Biden to take action to demonstrate his commitment to reforming the criminal justice system. Justice Action Network director Inimai Chettiar called the president’s move “an excellent step” and said one of the most important parts of Mr. Biden’s policy is to examine how marijuana crimes are prosecuted in the future. “We know marijuana isn’t as dangerous as these other drugs, but that is what policy has decided,” Ms. Chettiar explained.

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