President Biden is granting clemency to 11 drug dealers convicted of non-violent crimes, as well as rolling back anti-drug laws on federal land.
The White House announced Biden’s decision via a statement Friday in which the president offered his reasoning for approving the sudden release of nearly a dozen drug-related offenders.
“First, I am commuting the sentences of 11 people who are serving disproportionately long sentences for non-violent drug offenses,” Biden announced in a press statement. “All of them would have been eligible to receive significantly lower sentences if they were charged with the same offense today.”
In the same announcement, the president went a step further — revealing a proclamation that will also pardon further marijuana-related crimes on federal land.
“Second, following my pardon of prior federal and D.C. offenses of simple possession of marijuana, I am issuing a Proclamation that will pardon additional offenses of simple possession and use of marijuana under federal and D.C. law,” the president said.
Biden said the law enforcement reforms are meant to curb and rethink the country’s “failed approach to marijuana.”
Biden said, “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. It’s time that we right these wrongs.”
The president is also urging governors across the country to adopt similar policies to walk back the legal impact marijuana-related crimes have on offenders’ lives.
“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.”
“I have exercised my clemency power more than any recent predecessor has at this point in their presidency,” Biden boasted.
He continued, “And while today’s announcement marks important progress, my Administration will continue to review clemency petitions and deliver reforms that advance equal justice, address racial disparities, strengthen public safety, and enhance the wellbeing of all Americans.”