Last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated that President Joseph Biden’s cannabis pardon proclamation was limited because it exempted noncitizens, who made up most of the federal possession cases.
During the interview with Pod Save America, the congresswoman emphasized the importance of having a Democratic party that stood up for the immigrant population through the enactment of policies that were more inclusive. She argued that while the presidential pardon should be applauded, it wasn’t inclusive because the proclamation exempted convicted individuals who were undocumented. This is despite the fact that about 90% of individuals who would have benefited from the pardon had status complications.
A 2016 U.S. Sentencing Commission report shows that more than 90% of cannabis possession cases at the federal level in fiscal year 2013 took place at the Southern border. The report states that 94% of the individuals arrested were not U.S. citizens. While these stats have changed as the years have gone by, they still speak to a trend in law enforcement.
Ocasio-Cortez also discussed how individuals with citizenship issues weren’t included in Biden’s pardon, highlighting that it was discriminating against people based on their citizen statuses. The mass pardon issued by Biden only impacted about 6,000 individuals who had committed cannabis possession offenses at the federal level, as well as those who had broken the law in the District of Columbia.
The congresswoman’s sentiments are shared by activists who have also argued that the relief should be extended to individuals with sales convictions as well as immigrants. Activists with DCMJ, Last Prisoner Project and Sensible Drug Policy protested against this last week and demanded that individuals currently in federal prison for cannabis convictions that weren’t limited to simple possession also be released.
This comes after the president himself boasted that his mass pardon had changed the lives of thousands. In an interview conducted after the mass pardon’s issuance, Biden stated that he was keeping his promise to ensure that no individual was in jail for being in possession of or using cannabis. Biden also noted that once released, the records of these individuals needed to be expunged completely because not doing so would make it hard for them to be employed.
In addition to pardoning individuals, Biden also directed that the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice carry out a scheduling review to determine whether marijuana’s current classification under the Controlled Substances Act was necessary. That review could have major ramifications for companies such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) that see the marijuana industry as a major part of the clientele they serve.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACTX
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