LANSING, Mich., Oct. 7, 2022 — President Biden pardoned thousands of people on Thursday who were convicted of marijuana possession under federal law. Simple possession became a crime in the 1970s, and the pardons will clear all who have been convicted since then. The presidential action will help remove obstacles for those convicted and trying to find employment, housing or applying to college. In response to the pardons, state Rep. Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods) issued the following statement: 


“I am glad to see this action by the president. People of color are disproportionately imprisoned for drug possession, so these pardons are long past due. It’s a start to fixing the many wrongs caused by the racial disparities in our country. I have been a part of many conversations in the Legislature related to the regulation and medicinal use of marijuana in Michigan, including HBs 5300-5302 and HB 5562. This kind of legislation helps reduce the prison population, saves the state money and mitigates violence caused by the illegal drug trade. With all that said, there is a lot more work to be done, and I will do all I can to move our minority communities toward more equal and equitable opportunities. I am glad to see this work being done by the President’s administration; however, I also hope to see Congress move toward federal expungement of records.”