Biden Pardons Federal Marijuana Possession Charges – Can NH Do the Same?
How will New Hampshire respond to President Joe Biden's call for states to grant pardons for marijuana possession? Not with pardons.
Biden announced a pardon of all prior federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana on Thursday, and asked governors to consider doing the same for state offenses.
"Just as no one should be in a Federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either," Biden said in a statement.
In a statement the governor's office said that Sununu and the state Department of Justice are reviewing Biden's actions. He pointed out that under the state constitution, the governor cannot grant a unilateral pardon. Instead, a pardon has to be considered by both a governor and the Executive Council.
"Governor Sununu has done more on the issues surrounding marijuana reform than any other Governor in New Hampshire history. After years of inaction by Democrat governors, Chris Sununu signed commonsense decriminalization so no one would be jailed for simple possession of minor amounts of marijuana, expanded access to medical marijuana, and provided a pathway to annul old convictions for marijuana possession," read the statement.
Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Rep. Chris Pappas did not issue statements about Biden's action.
Biden said that he has directed the Attorney General to come up with an administrative process for the issuance of certificates of pardon to eligible individuals.