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Biden Issues Broad Pardons For Certain Marijuana Offenses, And Commutes Sentences For 11 People



President Joe Biden on Friday signed a proclamation to pardon individuals who committed or were convicted of certain marijuana offenses.
I am pardoning additional individuals who may continue to experience the unnecessary collateral consequences of a conviction for simple possession of marijuana, attempted simple possession of marijuana, or use of marijuana, Biden said in the proclamation.
Biden issued a similar proclamation last year, but the latest includes additional pardons for certain offenses on federal property.
Criminal records for marijuana use and possession have imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. Its time that we right these wrongs, Biden said in a statement.
The pardons do not apply to individuals who were non-citizens not lawfully present in the U.S. at the time of their offense.
In addition to the pardons, Biden also commuted the sentences of 11 people serving disproportionately long sentences for non-violent drug offenses.
All of them would have been eligible to receive significantly lower sentences if they were charged with the same offense today, Biden said.
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. Thats why I continue to urge Governors to do the same with regard to state offenses and applaud those who have since taken action, Biden said.
TMX contributed to this article.