Biden Has ‘Every Intention’ Of Using Clemency Power And Is Looking At People With Drug Convictions, White House Says

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President Joe Biden has “every intention of using his clemency power,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday. But while the administration is “looking at” relief for non-violent drug offenders, she again declined to give specifics about when any presidential action might actually happen. Advocates and some lawmakers have grown impatient with the president as his first year in office comes to a close. Biden campaigned on cannabis reform, promising that he would push for decriminalization, rescheduling and ensuring that people aren’t locked up over marijuana. Marijuana Moment partnered with More Perfect Union this week to shed light on exactly what Biden’s administration can when it comes to cannabis. Watch below: NEW: President Joe Biden could decriminalize marijuana and fulfill key campaign promises without waiting for Congress.@KyleJaeger from @MarijuanaMoment explains. pic.twitter.com/F6EIjUl4Q7 — More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) December 21, 2021 Asked at a press briefing whether Biden would be following the tradition of issuing pardons or commutations “in the spirit of the holiday” as the year comes to an end, Psaki said simply, “I don’t have anything to preview at this time.” “I would just reiterate that the president has every intention of using his clemency power,” she said. “And there has been some reporting which is accurate out there about looking at non-violent drug offenders, but I don’t have anything to update you on at this point in time.”

There were rumors that Biden would take one modest clemency action this holiday season by granting pardons to people with low-level convictions, including for drugs, who were released to home confinement as part of a COVID-19 bill that he signed early this year. But while the Justice Department initially said that it was required to send those people back to prison after the emergency lifted, it reversed…

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