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Racial equity in marijuana pardons requires states’ action

Marijuana Legalization
Posted at 1:57 PM, Oct 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-09 13:57:02-04

President Joe Biden’s executive action pardoning Americans with federal convictions for simple marijuana possession will benefit thousands of people by making it easier for them to find housing, get a job or apply to college.

However, it does nothing to help the hundreds of thousands of mostly Black and Hispanic Americans still burdened by state convictions for marijuana-related offenses.

That's why advocates for reforming the nation’s drug laws are hopeful that Biden’s pardons lead state lawmakers to pardon and expunge minor drug offenses from people’s records.

After all, they say, dozens of states have already decriminalized cannabis and legalized it for a multibillion-dollar recreational and medicinal use industry that is predominantly white-owned.