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Louisiana governor responds to Biden's call for states to pardon marijuana convictions

3 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Friday, October 07 2022 Oct 7, 2022 October 07, 2022 1:01 PM October 07, 2022 in News
Source: The Advocate

BATON ROUGE - A day after President Joe Biden pardoned thousands of federal inmates convicted on marijuana charges and called for state governments to do the same, Governor John Bel Edwards told reporters that his hands are tied for the time being.

The governor fielded questions Friday morning about potential marijuana pardons in Louisiana, a state which has taken steps to decriminalize the drug in recent years. 

"I think he’s right to do it," Edwards said. "Because we have now multiple states around the country where recreational use of marijuana is actually legal. And so not only is it decriminalized as it has been in Louisiana, but elsewhere it’s been legalized."

Despite the governor commending the president for his decision to pardons convictions for "simple possession" of the drug, he told reporters there's not much he can do on his own to make that happen in Louisiana. Edwards, who is entering his last year as governor after being elected to two terms, says he does not have the authority to take that step without first getting a recommendation from a state board that handles pardons, according to The Advocate.

At the same time, the governor reportedly pledged to work with lawmakers to ease punishments for marijuana possession. 

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