On February 19th, 2021, President Joe Biden announced a second round of clemency pardons related to marijuana offenses in the District of Columbia. This expands on a campaign promise made in 2022 to pardon those with criminal convictions related to marijuana charges in the District.
The pardons apply to those who were convicted of marijuana distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and marijuana cultivation offenses. Biden also reduced sentences for those who were serving time for simple marijuana possession convictions. This includes both felonies and misdemeanors.
Biden’s expanded clemency effort seeks to reduce the disproportionate impact of marijuana convictions on communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by criminalized drug policies. This round of pardons not only provides freedom for those with criminal convictions, but also a sense of closure and justice as well.
In conclusion, Biden is keeping his campaign promise of pardoning those convicted of marijuana offenses in DC. This clemency push is part of his broader efforts to restore justice into the criminal justice system and correct the unequal burden of drug laws on communities of color.