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Governor Lamont Statement on President Biden’s Action Granting Federal Pardons for Simple Possession of Marijuana

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Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Statement on President Biden’s Action Granting Federal Pardons for Simple Possession of Marijuana

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont released the following statement regarding the announcement made today by President Joe Biden that he is granting pardons to all Americans who have been convicted under federal law of the offense of simple possession of marijuana:

“For decades, the criminalization of cannabis has caused injustices and created disparities throughout our country while doing little to protect public health and safety. I applaud President Biden for recognizing this injustice and taking action today on a federal level to right some of the wrongs that have occurred in the United States for too long. At its core, the war on cannabis has been a war on people in Black and Brown communities who have been targeted by these laws at far greater rates and whose lives have been impacted for the worse as a result, not only through incarceration but also lifelong criminal records that harm the ability to obtain meaningful employment.

“Last year, I signed into law a series of actions to legalize and safely regulate the adult-use of cannabis in Connecticut. Not only does it legalize possession of small amounts of cannabis for adults over the age of 21, but it also includes a provision that automatically erases certain cannabis-related convictions under state law, which will make a difference in the lives of impacted people and communities across our state. Additionally, that law allows for the retail sale of cannabis in a well-regulated system that is on its way to launching in the coming months and will require certain revenue generated from those sales to support economic opportunities for communities that have been most negatively impacted by the war on drugs.

“Having an unregulated cannabis marketplace has not worked. I am glad that as a nation we are recognizing the impact that these laws have had and are taking action to move beyond and correct this terrible period of incarceration and injustice.”

The package of reforms that Governor Lamont signed into law in 2021 legalizing and safely regulating adult-use cannabis and erasing certain cannabis-related convictions is Public Act 21-1 (June Special Session). For a summary of that package, click here.

Twitter: @GovNedLamont
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