Oregon Governor Pardons 45,000 Marijuana Offenders
Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced yesterday she will pardon 45,000 people convicted of simple possession of marijuana, in one of the largest uses of the pardon power by a governor to wipe weed offenses off the books.
Brown’s office says the pardons will remove 47,144 convictions for possession of a small amount of marijuana from individual records and forgive more than $14 million in associated fines and fees.
“No one deserves to be forever saddled with the impacts of a conviction for simple possession of marijuana—a crime that is no longer on the books in Oregon,” Brown said in a press release. “Oregonians should never face housing insecurity, employment barriers, and educational obstacles as a result of doing something that is now completely legal, and has been for years. My pardon will remove these hardships.”
Brown’s announcement follow similar actions by President Joe Biden, who announced in October that he was pardoning roughly 6,500 people with prior federal convictions for simple possession of marijuana.
As Reason’s Jacob Sullum wrote, Biden’s pardons were a welcome step, but the actual impact of his orders will be modest:
His blanket pardon for low-level marijuana offenders, while long overdue, will affect a small percentage of people with federal drug records. Without new legislation, marijuana use will remain a crime under federal law, as will growing and selling marijuana. And while rescheduling marijuana will make medical research easier, it will not make cannabis legally available to patients unless an
Article from Reason.com