Last week, using his constitutional pardoning power, President Joe Biden issued a blanket pardon for all those convicted of “simple marijuana possession” under federal law.
Biden noted, without further quantifying the matter, that the pardons would apply to “thousands … who have prior Federal convictions for marijuana possession, who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result. My action will help relieve the collateral consequences arising from these convictions.”
But because most marijuana convictions are in the states, Biden further called on governors to follow his lead and pardon those previously convicted of simple possession. And, finally, he asked the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and the U.S. attorney general to “expeditiously” review marijuana’s Schedule 1 classification under federal law – the top classification meant for the most dangerous substances.
Among those applauding these moves was U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, who praised Biden in a statement “for listening and rejecting the all-or-nothing approach demanded by so many in his own party.” Joyce also urged Congress to incentivize state and local expungements Biden.
Among those not applauding Biden’s moves was Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who accused Biden of playing politics by issuing his Oct. 6 executive order on pardons just a little over one month before the Nov. 8 midterm elections….