President Biden has granted clemency to 11 non-violent drug offenders, citing disproportionately long sentences for non-violent drug offenses.
Additionally, he announced a proclamation to pardon further marijuana-related crimes on federal land, emphasizing the need to address the impact of criminal records for marijuana use and possession on employment, housing, and educational opportunities.
Biden is urging governors to adopt similar policies and stated that his administration will continue to review clemency petitions and deliver reforms to advance equal justice and address racial disparities. (Trending: Assault Weapons Ban Set To Take Effect, Here’s What To Know)
“First, I am commuting the sentences of 11 people who are serving disproportionately long sentences for non-violent drug offenses,” Biden said.
“All of them would have been eligible to receive significantly lower sentences if they were charged with the same offense today.”
“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,” he 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,” 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 stated.
“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,” he added.