Booker and the others wrote a letter to the president asking for marijuana to be removed from the list of Schedule 1 drugs. They also called on Biden to pardon all individuals convicted of nonviolent marijuana crimes.
The letter stated in part, "The administration's failure to coordinate a timely review of its cannabis policy, is harming thousands of Americans, slowing research, and depriving Americans of their ability to use marijuana for medical or other purposes.”
While lawmakers sent the governor legislation last week that would provide opportunities to have marijuana-related records expunged, the organizations—including ACLU of New Jersey and NAACP New Jersey State Conference—say it does not go far enough to right the wrongs of cannabis criminalization.
In a letter sent to Gov. Phil Murphy (D) that was shared exclusively with Marijuana Moment, the organizations laid out a suggested step-by-step structured pardon plan which would begin this month and escalate through next September.
Fulfilling a campaign promise made by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Illinois legalized cannabis via the Legislature rather than a voter initiative. Among Pritzker’s promises was that any legalization would also involve a clearing of cannabis offenders’ criminal records. And true to his word, Prtizker rang in the New Year on Dec. 31 by issuing 11,000 pardons.
On Monday, The Record reported Murphy is open to the idea. And a reporter asked the Democratic governor at an unrelated news event hours later if he'd consider "wide-sweeping pardons" -- and if that would happen before weed is legalized.
Murphy replied that he didn't know about timing or if they'd be broad. But yes, he said, he's considering pardons.