Biden Mentions Freeing Prisoners with Cannabis Convictions in MLK Day Speech

On January 16, President Joe Biden announced Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast Event in Washington, DC, hosted by nationwide action networkin him speech“And one more thing about equal justice. I keep my promises,” he said in his speech. “Once again, no one should be put in federal prison for possession of marijuana. No one.”

“Additionally, they should be released from prison, fully pardoned and all their records expunged. [convicted]?’ You can honestly say ‘no’. ”

In his speech, he also spoke about his efforts to help free WNBA All-Star Britney Griner, who was detained and convicted in Russia for possessing small amounts of cannabis oil. “And we brought Britney Griner home just in time for Christmas. And we have a lot of stuff to bring home, too,” he said briefly.

Biden seems committed to his promise to prevent citizens from being convicted of cannabis crimes and sent to federal prison, especially since the initial announcement in October 2022. Previously, Biden signed an infrastructure bill in November 2021 that includes improvements to cannabis research. In December 2022, he signed into law a bill called the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act. It “establishes a new registration process for conducting marijuana research and manufacturing marijuana products for research purposes and drug development.”

Earlier this month, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) fix Redefine simple cannabis possession and help guide judges in cannabis possession cases. USSC too report Jan. 10 to analyze data on cannabis possession convictions. During fiscal year 2021, 4,405 people received additional criminal record points for cannabis possession convictions, and 1,765 peopleHigher Criminal Record Category” for that belief. The report also found that the number of people convicted of federal simple possession has fallen from 2,172 in 2017. 2014 Only 145 people in 2021.

The USSC originally estimated in its October 2022 report that 6,577 people could be pardoned.

Biden’s pardon announcement in October prompted other governors to take similar steps. signed an executive order authorizing the use of On October 25, 2022, his more than 1,450 Arizona residents convicted of federal cannabis possession were pardoned.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued over 45,000 pardons in November 2022. Today, I am taking steps to right the wrongs of Oregon’s flawed, unfair, and outdated criminal justice system regarding personal possession of marijuana. ” Brown said in a statement“For the estimated 45,000 state convicted and pardoned individuals for marijuana possession, this action will help mitigate the collateral consequences of those convictions.”

Most recently, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe granted 369 pardons on January 12, bringing the total to 2,540. “I take this process very seriously and am reviewing and weighing all of these 2,540 pardons and the lives they affect,” Wolff said. “Every Pennsylvanian who goes through this process deserves a second chance and we are honored to have it.”

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