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Biden pardons thousands for cannabis possession

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By Sebastian Smith

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Great decision and all the states should follow. How many are in prison for simple possession?

14 ( +17 / -3 )

"I am announcing a pardon of all prior federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana," Biden said.

Way to go Joe"

wallaceToday  11:45 am JST

Great decision and all the states should follow.

I believe that is a decision for US voters, to be made by only US voters.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

I believe that is a decision for US voters, to be made by only US voters.

Not required for a JT post?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Makes sense.

Good move.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Finally. I'm starting to like this guy.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I would argue that abusing alcohol and alcohol addiction is much much more dangerous and addictive than smoking pot. And it’s not even illegal. It may not land you in prison but alcohol abuse can still ruin your life, your career, your family, marriage, etc and ultimately death if you don’t get help. If they legalized it in Japan then maybe there wouldn’t be so many alcoholics in this country.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The move was announced abruptly by video and in a written statement, with no previous build-up by the White House.

these people can vote now, right?

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

I believe that is a decision for US voters, to be made by only US voters.

We kind of did.

I don't know if you learned this in civics class, but we are from a Democratic Republic. We choose the leaders to choose for us. It's not a direct democracy.

So, we had this election on November 4th, 2020. Perhaps you remember it?

It was free and fair and by a margin of 7 million people, more people said Joe than said the other one.

BTW, you really don't want to go the public referendum course on this one because the margin would be much larger than 7 million.

I haven't partaken of weed in 35 years, but I can see the writing on the wall. The vast majority of the country wants it legal or at least not grouped with other Class 1 narcotics.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

The move was announced abruptly by video and in a written statement, with no previous build-up by the White House.

these people can vote now, right?

Voting rights status of people with felony convictions depends up on State rather than federal law. It will depend upon the state.

In some states, felony convicts who have served their sentences and maintained their status have voting rights. Some states deny them.

But I bet that almost everyone who gets a pardon and has voting rights will vote democratic. And why wouldn't they?

Republicans did nothing for them because they had weed convictions, so obviously they are unworthy, eh?

So if you are (as you so obviously are) tyring to whine about this being a political ploy to win votes, my suggestion would be for you to ask "Why didn't we do that when we had the chance?"

Seems like someone in the GQP was asleep at the wheel.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

As I see it, any news on the decriminalization of marijuana is good news, especially if the Japanese public and J-Gov catch wind of it. Not that its going to be a huge game changer, but Japan's views and laws on marijuana possession are old school. Gov could use that tax revenue too.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"Why didn't we do that when we had the chance?"

because "we" dont pander to voters with new actions, abruptly and with no build up, right before elections to desperately try to buy their votes.

Republicans did nothing for them because they had weed convictions

Was it not illegal when they did it? did they not know it was illegal when they did it?

Dems only "doing something" because its election time again.

-18 ( +1 / -19 )

Was it not illegal when they did it? did they not know it was illegal when they did it?

Who cares? Laws exist to protect society and make it better. We shouldn't create rules for the sake of having rules. These people committed victimless crimes, and I'm glad they've been pardoned.

Dems only "doing something" because its election time again.

Yes. That's how elections work. Lol People are elected to do stuff, and then they get reelected if they do that stuff.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

because "we" dont pander to voters with new actions, abruptly and with no build up, right before elections to desperately try to buy their votes.

You gotta warn us before you do comedy. I almost spit my coffee on the screen.

Religious zealots, Tax cheats, people who have been found guilty but have not started their sentences much less served them or even applied for the pardon process. Friends of Don, people who have dirt on Don, people Don might need in the future or who could be of some value.

But no, "We don't pander" LOL.

Was it not illegal when they did it? did they not know it was illegal when they did it?

You are defining a pardon. Are you saying that all the people previously pardoned by ANY administration of EITHER party was illegitimate?

No, this is nothing more than whining because good policy (Nobody in 2021 should have a felony weed conviction for possession or use) is also good politics.

The GQP was just too thick to recognize the opportunity.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Hmmmmm

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

Great decision and all the states should follow. 

I believe that is a decision for US voters, to be made by only US voters.

Do you believe only US voters are entitled to an opinion on it?

That would be rather a strange approach considering you yourself comment on all manner of international news items.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Seems like someone in the GQP was asleep at the wheel.

Maybe they suffered an OD on the totally legal opiod "Pharmaceuticals" that the Sackler family (Some of the largest GQP donners) flooded the country with.

But "Shhh" we don't want to talk about that because the Sacklers escaped all legal liability for the tens of thousands of OD deaths and lives ruined.

Let's continue to whine about pardoning users of weed - A drug which has created precisely ZERO overdose deaths in it' history. There may be a fair number of unsavory side effects of weed, but death from overdose is not among them.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

BlacklabelToday  01:51 pm JST

"Why didn't we do that when we had the chance?"

because "we" dont pander to voters with new actions, abruptly and with no build up, right before elections to desperately try to buy their votes.

Republicans did nothing for them because they had weed convictions

Was it not illegal when they did it? did they not know it was illegal when they did it?

Dems only "doing something" because its election time again.

Ok well here are Trumps pardons with dates. He did a lot in December 2020 for some reason.

https://www.justice.gov/pardon/pardons-granted-president-donald-j-trump-2017-2021

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Voting rights status of people with felony convictions depends up on State rather than federal law. It will depend upon the state.

States can only deny the right to vote for people with state felony convictions, not federal ones. So anyone with a previous federal conviction for cannabis possession will now be allowed to vote. Even rock star Ron DeSantis cannot deny them that right.

In any case, it is simply undemocratic and morally wrong to disenfranchise someone who has already paid the penalty for a breach of law.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Plastic,

Thank you for the clarification.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The number of individuals incarcerated for cannabis at any moment in time in the U.S. is higher than 40,000.

Moreover, separate data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission show that only 92 people were sentenced for marijuana possession in the federal system in 2017, out of a total of nearly 20,000 drug convictions.

Millions are in prison for serious offenses.

 0.1% of state prisoners are being held for marijuana possession only.

As of December 2020, there was a total of 135,906 prisoners in the state of Texas, the most out of any state.

https://www.vera.org/downloads/publications/people-in-jail-and-prison-in-spring-2021.pdf

The cost of keeping a prisoner averages $33,000.

https://www.vera.org/publications/price-of-prisons-2015-state-spending-trends/price-of-prisons-2015-state-spending-trends/price-of-prisons-2015-state-spending-trends-prison-spending

5 ( +7 / -2 )

oe Biden on Thursday announced that he will pardon federal simple marijuana possession convictions. However, this is being heralded as a political move as there are currently zero individuals in federal prison with solely “simple possession of marijuana” charges. According to ABC News:

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced he’s pardoning all Americans who’ve been convicted of simple marijuana possession under federal law, coming closer to keeping a 2020 campaign promise to decriminalize the drug a little more than a month before the midterm election.

> *The executive action will benefit 6,500 people with prior federal convictions and thousands of others charged under the District of Columbia’s criminal code, according to senior administration officials. Elaborating on the number of people affected, officials said, *“there are no individuals currently in federal prison solely for simple possession of marijuana.”

So, this is just a political ruse shortly before the mid-term election.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

So, this is just a political ruse shortly before the mid-term election.

Uh no, having a federal marijuana possession offense on your record can have serious consequences in terms of employment and housing.

According to the article,

Officials told reporters that about 6,500 people are directly affected by convictions under federal marijuana statutes. Clemency will extend to thousands more convicted under laws in the federal capital, Washington.

So no, not a "political ruse."

7 ( +8 / -1 )

 However, this is being heralded as a political move as there are currently zero individuals in federal prison with solely “simple possession of marijuana” charges. According to ABC News:

It also pardons those who have served their sentences. I am not quite sure what effect that has other than psychological since the acceptance of a pardon is legally an admission of guilt (Something Sheriff Joe Arpio didn't know when he accepted one, but I digress...).

I would think that there would be some substantive benefit (in addition to restoring voting rights at the federal level) as it was a key demand of one of his core constituent bases. But as to what benefit it is, I cannot say. Perhaps Plastic will elighten us (I say without a trace of smarm, just FYI).

I do know that it's good policy and thus good poltics.

Even if one want to claim this is a ploy, it's a ploy that the FG could have used, didn't for whatever reason (Too stupid or arrogant or sociopathic to be capable of empathy, etc.).

7 ( +8 / -1 )

NemoToday  01:37 pm JST

We kind of did. 

I don't know if you learned this in civics class, but we are from a Democratic Republic. We choose the leaders to choose for us. It's not a direct democracy.

So, we had this election on November 4th, 2020. Perhaps you remember it?

It was free and fair and by a margin of 7 million people, more people said Joe than said the other one.

Funny--I never took a civics class. But I can easily explain your misunderstanding. But first, you should understand no national election is decided by a margin of 7 million people, because there are only 538 electoral votes.

Next lesson, Biden's pardon was directed at those  "*affected by convictions under federal marijuana statutes".*

My comment, which you misunderstood, was in reference to another poster's remark:

Great decision and all the states should follow.

See where this is going? So when I wrote:

I believe that is a decision for US voters, to be made by only US voters.

This means regarding people convicted under state laws, the voters in those states have the power to push for legalization, and in turn, the likelihood the governor of the particular state would grant pardons to those convicted.

So, nothing at all related to a disputed election.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Funny--I never took a civics class.

You didn't need to tell us this. It's patently obvious.

you should understand no national election is decided by a margin of 7 million people, because there are only 538 electoral votes.

I do. And pray tell, who won the majority of those? (Checks notes) Oh, that would be Joseph Biden. 306 to 232 which is (calculator out) 56.9% of all electoral votes. This is actually a GREATER percentage than the popular vote margin. So what you are actually saying is that in your estimation, Joe won by a greater proportion than in the metric that I used. Perhaps you should have stuck with the popular vote argument.

AND....

None of this deals with the fact that we live in a Democratic Republic and we elect leaders to decide. That is what happened here. If Joe had said "I will never pardon any drug offender" and then he did, I could see the argument.

But this was a campaign promise. The voters had a chance to weigh this promise. And by a margin of 7 million popular and 74 electoral votes, the public chose Joe over the narcisstic sociopath.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I think this is the first time Biden has done something I agree with. There must be something else, but I can't think of one.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

NemoToday  03:59 pm JST

You didn't need to tell us this. It's patently obvious.

Should be, because what is funny is that I have taught several civics-type classes (you fail btw).

Which is why it is easy again to point out to you that Joe's pardon only affects those convicted under federal laws.

So for the same to happen in states, it takes the act of a governor (or depending on the state, a pardoning board). Who happens to be elected in a different format from the president. And a governor in a state where legalization has not yet taken place, is not too likely to grant those pardons.

Again, whether pardons are issued to those convicted under state laws are not contingent on whatever the current president (whether elected cleanly or not) does under federal law on this matter.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Funny--I never took a civics class. But I can easily explain your misunderstanding. But first, you should understand no national election is decided by a margin of 7 million people, because there are only 538 electoral votes.

Ah, the attempts to undermine mass representative democracy from the far right that have been growing since 2020 particularly. I often read "the USA is not a democracy it's a republic". This is a new spin, but obviously one related to Trump's fraudulent conspiracy to use fake electoral college ballots to overturn the Presidential election. 150m votes don't count, only 538.

I believe that is a decision for US voters, to be made by only US voters.

Hang on, do you now mean the 538 voters of the electoral college, or do you mean by actual democratic votes?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Back on topic please.

Instead, he homed in individual possession of a substance that the government health authorities estimate was used by at least 18 percent of the population in 2019 -- and which is already permitted by multiple state governments for recreational or medical purposes.

Is he referring to fentynal here? I presume so. Is it really allowed for recreational purposes anywhere? It is much stronger than heroin.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Here is a review of the issues being discussed from this article:

Officials told reporters that about 6,500 people are directly affected by convictions under federal marijuana statutes.

And Joe even said:

"I am urging all governors to do the same with regard to state offenses. Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either,"

Again, for those lacking in a civics background, Biden's pardon does has no effect on those convicted under state laws.

NemoToday  05:06 pm JST

There's no base-line knowledge requirement in the subject you taught? That is actually not so funny.

For some base-line knowledge, I suggest looking up Art. II of the Constitution for a review of some powers allocated to the president.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Of course it only applies to federal convictions, but thank God he did pardon marijuana crimes. It's a crime without a victim.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It seems as though you’re the only one that needed to explain that this was a Federal and not a state issue. The rest of us already knew that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Excellent decision Joe !!..

We have to stop demonizing the possession of cannabis...

That is a president with humanity...

The medievals will continue to lose the country little by little...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am announcing a pardon of all prior federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana," Biden said.

Ok, not that there are many who were convicted at this level anyway.

He noted that non-white people are disproportionately affected by marijuana possession convictions, which in addition to sometimes including jail time can unleash years of legal fallout, creating difficulties in getting work and education

It is also worth noting Biden was one of the main proponents of crack and cocaine legislation that resulted in the incarceration of thousands of racial minorities.

NemoOct. 7  08:42 pm JST

It seems as though you’re the only one that needed to explain that this was a Federal and not a state issue. The rest of us already knew that.

I'm congratulating my teaching efforts if you finally realize that Biden's pardoning had not effect on those convicted under state laws. Good to help you brush up on your basic civics.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The 50 states should also follow Biden's decision.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

wallaceToday  03:03 pm JST

The 50 states should also follow Biden's decision.

That is impossible, as every American knows, because Biden's decision only affected those convicted for federal offenses.

More importantly, states cannot follow Biden's decision because the Constitution separates the federal powers and the states' powers. Meaning, state governors can pardon those convicted under state offenses.

Check out the 10th Amendment, which provides more insight on this issue, which many non-US citizens are often confused about.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The states have the power to pardon all people in state prisons for cannabis possession. Just as many states have legalized it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To pardon is the ability of the executive branch (just ask Donald)

To decriminalize is the ability of the legislative branch

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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