Biden is still seeking potential life sentences for distributing weed, even as he pardons for possession
Jonathan Wall (left), President Joe Biden (right) (Courtesy Jason Flores-Williams; Jeremy Hogan / SOPA Images/Sipa/Newscom)
Pardoning possession offenders is nice. Taking his boot off the necks of cannabis sellers would be even better.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he is pardoning every U.S. citizen and lawful resident convicted in federal court of simple marijuana possession. That is a very fortunate announcement for the several thousand people convicted at the federal level of simple possession, but it still leaves thousands of other federal cannabis offenders facing draconian sentences for larger quantities.
Consider, for example, that just months ago, Biden’s Department of Justice successfully prosecuted a man named Jonathan Wall and sought 10 years to life in prison for the crime of conspiracy to distribute cannabis. While Biden deserves praise for pardoning people no longer imprisoned, it is important to remember that he is extending that olive branch while insisting that the people who sold them marijuana should be caged for decades.
“It remains deeply disturbing,” Jason Flores-Williams, who represented Wall in court until the conclusion of his trial in May, tells Reason. “While we’re glad that the president is pardoning people for pot possession, really what needs to happen is the decriminalization or total legalization of marijuana so that people like my current clients and people who I’ve represented don’t spend any time of their short precious lives incarcerated in a cage for a plant that I can go buy around the corner.”
Published: October 07, 2022
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