Biden pardons more marijuana offenses in D.C., expanding 2022 clemency
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden pardoned nearly 30 individuals for marijuana-related offenses committed in the District of Columbia. This is part of a larger clemency initiative that is set to expand later this year.
The new pardons are an effort to grant reprieve to individuals convicted of minor, nonviolent drug crimes. It’s part of the president’s effort to repair some of the harm done by the war on drugs, which disproportionately affects people of color.
The pardons are the latest step in Biden?s broader criminal justice reform efforts. Last month, he unveiled the Justice40 Initiative, a program to help reduce incarceration through clemency.
The initiative includes the expansion of the White House Clemency Initiative, which was launched under the Obama administration in 2014 to grant clemency to those convicted of low-level drug crimes.
In the District of Columbia, for example, the initiative will forgive some low-level marijuana possession offenses and those convicted of minor marijuana-related conspiracy charges.
The Biden Administration has made it clear that its commitment to criminal justice reform is unwavering. This pardon initiative reinforces that commitment and is an important step in erasing the lasting impacts of the war on drugs.