The Vice President argued that there is no constitutional right to use cannabis. Warren replied by asking if the constitution’s “inherent rights” can be voided for crimes like murder, rape and assault. Biden responded with a question of his own: “What about all the people who are in jail now?”
The “pardon definition government” is a legal term that refers to the act of granting a pardon. The word comes from the Latin word “pardonare”, which means “to absolve or release.”.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and two other Democratic senators wrote to President Biden on Tuesday, urging him to follow through on campaign pledges by pardoning federal nonviolent cannabis convictions.
“After more than a century of failed and racist cannabis policies, we write to urge a change of course: we request that you use your executive authority to pardon all individuals convicted of non-violent cannabis offenses, whether formerly or currently incarcerated,” Warren wrote in the letter, which was co-signed by Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) (D-Ore.).
Democrats have pressed Biden to modify cannabis regulations, which have disproportionately impacted communities of color, since he took office.
The letter refers to Biden’s remarks on marijuana liberalization during the Democratic primary debate in November 2019.
“Number one, I believe marijuana should be decriminalized, period,” Biden declared at the time. “And I believe that everyone — everybody with a record — should be released from prison, their records wiped, and their records utterly erased.”
The senators noted that marijuana laws need to be revised, but that the president has the authority to act immediately.
“You may and should grant a blanket pardon for all nonviolent federal cannabis charges,” they wrote, “keeping your promises to the American people and altering the lives of tens of thousands of Americans.”
“Most importantly, such a pardon—combined with your leadership on an accessible expungement process to formally clear the criminal records of those affected—would mark the start of a reversal of decades of ineffective and discriminatory cannabis policies, allowing Americans to return to their communities, find housing and jobs, and rebuild their lives without the burdens of an unjustly imposed criminal record,” the senators wrote.
In July, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) proposed legislation in the Senate to legalize marijuana on a federal level.
“There is a sense of urgency here because people’s lives are being wrecked all around our nation.” “They’re in a lot of pain,” Booker stated at the time.
Twenty-seven states have already decriminalized small quantities of marijuana, while 36 states have legalized it for medical use.
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