State representative says simple possession marijuana pardons will help Mississippi’s economy

President Biden's move represents a fundamental change in America's response to a drug that's been at the center of a clash.
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 8:23 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - President Joe Biden pardoned thousands convicted of marijuana possession under federal law.

“People are convicted for marijuana possession who may be denied employment, housing or educational opportunities as a result of that conviction,” Biden said.

State Rep. Jeffrey Hullum III believes the president’s latest move will have a huge economic impact in Mississippi.

“We must reduce the prison population for low-level, non-violent offenders to increase our tax base,” Hullum said. “That will increase our tax base, grow our state, and move our state forward.”

The pardons will clear everyone convicted on federal charges of simple possession since it became a crime in the 1970s.

“I feel like that would be a really great relief for people being accused of maybe a gram of weed and being in jail,” said Savannah Nguyen. It’s just unreasonable.”

The move represents a fundamental change in America’s response to a drug that’s been at the center of a clash between culture and policing for more than a half-century.

“Some people are suppressed by their skin color,” Hullum said. “Some people are suppressed by nature of where they live. Some people are suppressed by the way they do business. But in this case, a person who is affected most by marijuana are people from the minority communities.”

President Biden is urging governors to follow his lead for people convicted on state charges of simple possession.

“You reduce the prison population and put more taxpayers back at work for non-violent offenses,” Hullum added.

The federal pardons will not apply to people convicted of selling or distributing marijuana.

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