WASHINGTON, DC – President Joe Biden pardoned three people and commuted the sentences of 75 people convicted of non-violet federal drug charges on Tuesday, according to a report by Marijuana Moment.
The action comes after the Biden administration was pushed repeatedly for clemency by lawmakers and advocates since taking office last January. Although it is not the “mass pardon” many were hoping for, it is a step in the right direction towards a promise Biden made throughout his campaign.
America is a nation of laws and second chances, redemption, and rehabilitation. During Second Chance Month, I am using my authority under the Constitution to uphold those values by pardoning and commuting the sentences of fellow Americans.
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 26, 2022
“Elected officials on both sides of the aisle, faith leaders, civil rights advocates, and law enforcement leaders agree that our criminal justice system can and should reflect these core values that enable safer and stronger communities,” said Biden in a statement.
Citing the recent bipartisan First Step Act, President Biden said many of the people granted pardons or clemency, “would have received a lower sentence if they were charged with the same offense today…”
Tuesday’s move is the first time during Biden’s presidency that anyone has received a pardon, aside from the ceremonial pardoning of turkeys around Thanksgiving. When asked about the issue, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has stated that the president has “every indention of using his clemency power,” and is considering relief for non-violent drug offenders. However, no meaningful action was taken before this week.
A pole released in January revealed more than 50% of Americans feel Biden failed to make good on his camping promise to federally decriminalize marijuana during his first year in office.