Holcomb declines to offer marijuana pardons

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb discussed his stance on a number of recent issues as part of a...
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb discussed his stance on a number of recent issues as part of a fireside chat and luncheon on Wednesday.(WAVE News)
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 9:09 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Governor Holcomb does not support pardoning low-level marijuana offenders - at least not until Congress takes action.

The Indiana Capital Chronicle reported on Holcomb’s position, after President Joe Biden pardoned such offenders with federal convictions. He encouraged states to do the same.

“It’s legal in many states, and criminal records for marijuana possession have led to needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities,” said Mr. Biden during public comments on October 6. “And that’s before you address the racial disparities around who suffers the consequences.”

Biden also directed Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to review how marijuana is classified under federal law. Currently, it is classified as a “Schedule 1″ drug - the same as LSD and heroin.

As reported by the Chronicle, Holcomb suggested he would wait for Congress to codify changes in marijuana policy into federal law before considering any changes to Indiana law. Even if that happened, state legislators would have to amend the statute.

It’s unclear if enough support exists in the Republican supermajority.

In the video below, Indiana Capital Chronicle Reporter Leslie Bonilla Muñiz discusses her reporting.

21Alive News has partnered with the Indiana Capital Chronicle to bring viewers enhanced coverage and better understanding of state government.

Reporters discuss their Statehouse stories each week on 21Alive News.