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Biden Pardons Thousands of People Convicted of Simple Marijuana Possession


Udi Ofer, a Princeton University professor and former deputy national political director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said possession of marijuana is simply a crime “almost entirely prosecuted by the states.” .” The federal government tends to prosecute marijuana trafficking criminals, he said.

Only 92 people were convicted of federal marijuana possession charges in 2017, out of nearly 20,000 drug convictions, according to the US Sentencing Commission.

“This is an important political statement, it’s an important values ​​statement, it’s progress, but this is a drop in the sea of ​​injustice,” Mr Ofer said.

Cannabis is already legal in about 20 states, and several other states have relaxed criminal penalties, according to DISA, a large drug testing company that specializes in monitoring state laws regarding marijuana. It is still completely illegal in some states. Officials said the federal government would stop charging anyone for simple ownership starting Thursday.

Mr. Biden’s statement could give Democrats some momentum in the upcoming midterm elections, especially among young people, liberals and minorities.

In July, half a dozen of the Senate’s most liberal senators wrote Mr. Biden a letter urging him to take the steps he announced on Thursday.

The group of senators, including his one-time rival, Bernie, wrote: “The administration’s failure to timely review the administration’s marijuana policy is harming thousands of Americans, slowing the process down. research and deprive them of their ability to use cannabis for medical or other purposes.” Sanders, independent of Vermont, and Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts.

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