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Held back because of marijuana possession? McGhee urges DeSantis to pardon Floridians

Following President Joe Biden’s Proclamation, McGhee urges DeSantis to immediately pardon simple marijuana possession convictions

At the Board of County Commissioners meeting held on Tuesday, November 1. Commissioner McGhee sponsored a resolution pushing Florida governor Ron DeSantis to pardon Floridians sentenced for possessing marijuana under Florida law. 

President Biden grants a pardon to those convicted of marijuana possession  

On October 6, 2022, President Joe Biden pardoned thousands of people convicted of simple marijuana possession, saying that no one should be in a local jail or state prison for this reason. He also noted that marijuana is classified under the same substance category as heroin, and LSD made no sense.

Biden directed Merrick Garland, the U.S attorney general, to come up with an administrative process that would issue certificates of pardon for these individuals. He also has urged all governors throughout the nation to start granting pardons to individuals who have beeb convicted of possessing marijuana.

The president, in a statement, said that marijuana had already impacted enough people and has imposed unnecessary barriers for them regarding obtaining stable jobs, education, and housing.

He also urged Florida’s Governor to use his power to pardon anyone convicted of simple marijuana possession so they could move forward with their lives.

marijuana plants

Florida’s law on marijuana possession and consumption

The state of Florida considers possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana to be a first-degree misdemeanor that’s sentenced with a $1000 fine and a maximum of one year of imprisonment. Anyone found possessing over 20 grams of marijuana has to pay a maximum fine of $5000 and a five-year imprisonment sentence.

Marijuana is only legal in Florida when an individual has obtained Medical Marijuana Use Authorization.

However, Florida law allows the governor to grant full or conditional pardons, remit fines, restore civil rights, and commute punishment, with the approval of two cabinet members.

Florida prohibits the consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes, even if the marijuana is obtained legally through someone with a medical marijuana license.

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