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Will U.S. governors have to follow Joe Biden’s cannabis pardon?

Oct 17, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

‘I don’t think that it’s going to rise to a high enough level of concern in the short term, and probably not even in the longer term,’ Republican strategists suggests

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President Joe Biden’s pardon of non-violent, federal cannabis offences feels like a prelude to a new cannabis era. Through a hopeful lens, the move represents a time when more and more U.S. states are legalizing cannabis and the drug has almost bipartisan approval.

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Realistically, though, it’s a little more complicated than that. Biden’s pardon served as a guidance, one that governors are free to disregard.

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Politico interviewed several experts and politicians who believe that Biden’s decision won’t influence Republican governors, especially since midterm elections are happening within weeks. In the case of Democrats, these governors likely already have pardons in place for these types of offences.


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“I don’t think that it’s going to rise to a high enough level of concern in the short term, and probably not even in the longer term,” suggested Gregg Peppin, a Republican political strategist, when discussing the GOP and its plans for the November elections.

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“The battle lines have been hardened as it relates to the issues of this election. Republicans are campaigning on economic issues and public safety,” Peppin said.

Even if some governors wanted to follow Biden’s advice, their state’s legislation might make that difficult, having laws that prevent mass pardons for certain groups of people. Politico points out that this is likely the case with states such as Minnesota, Louisiana and Kansas.

In theory, Biden’s pardon should affect about 6,500 people with federal possession convictions. It’s unclear how this will unfold, though, since the U.S. Department of Justice will need to figure out who fits the administration’s criteria and it’s a safe bet that some people deserving of a pardon could miss out because of bureaucracy.

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As always, cannabis will continue to progress and evolve slowly, with political parties pushing for their agendas while thousands of people deal with the consequences.

Despite the complexities that surround this topic, some would argue that Biden’s pardon marks the most significant cannabis news in decades, and, perhaps, a moment that marijuana enthusiasts of all sorts should celebrate.

The FreshToast.com, a U.S. lifestyle site that contributes lifestyle content and, with their partnership with 600,000 physicians via Skipta, medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp.

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