President Joe Biden is granting clemency to 11 people convicted of nonviolent marijuana-related offenses. In addition, Biden is issuing a pardon to thousands of Americans convicted of posessing marijuana in the past.
Biden announced the decision on Friday, which builds on an executive action he took last year to pardon people convicted of simple marijuana possession under federal law and D.C. statute.
The new pardons target “additional offenses of simple possession and use of marijuana under federal and D.C. law,” Biden said in a statement. The 11 people granted clemency are those serving “disproportionately long” sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.
“Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely due to the use or possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either,” Biden said. “That’s why I continue to urge Governors to do the same with regard to state offenses and applaud those who have since taken action.”
President Biden added, “I have exercised my clemency power more than any recent predecessor has at this point in their presidency. And while today’s announcement marks important progress, my Administration will continue to review clemency petitions and deliver reforms that advance equal justice, address racial disparities, strengthen public safety, and enhance the wellbeing of all Americans.”
Biden’s order applies only to the use of marijuana, which has been decriminalized or legalized in many…