Charlotte Tyler
December 23, 2023

Biden pardons marijuana offenses for almost a dozen non violent offenders

The Biden administration announced earlier this week that 11 non-violent drug offenders have been pardoned.

President Joe Biden said Friday that he would offer clemency to the offenders who have been serving extended prison sentences, as ABC News reported.

Additionally, the president is signing a proclamation to pardon some marijuana offenses.

The action is part of his 2022 initiative that the administration scheduled to pardon thousands of Americans who have been convicted of simple marijuana possessions.

Biden's Comments

"America was founded on the principle of equal justice under law," Biden said in a statement. "Elected officials on both sides of the aisle, faith leaders, civil rights advocates, and law enforcement leaders agree that our criminal justice system can and should reflect this core value that makes our communities safer and stronger.

"That is why today I am announcing additional steps I am taking to make the promise of equal justice a reality," he added.

Some of those convicted criminals who had their sentences commuted were slated to spend decades or even life in prison for crack cocaine-related offenses.

"All of them would have been eligible to receive significantly lower sentences if they were charged with the same offense today," Biden said in a statement.

More From the White House

A White House official stated that some of those who were convicted received sentences twice as long as they would likely receive had they been convicted today.

The administration also announced that the president would issue an order to pardon other marijuana-related offenses regarding simple possession.

"Criminal records for marijuana use and possession have imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities," Biden said. "Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It's time that we right these wrongs."

The president also urged state officials to take similar action: "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."

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