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Holcomb won't follow Biden's lead and pardon simple marijuana offenses

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Lauren Chapman
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Gov. Eric Holcomb has repeatedly said he wants Congress to change federal law on cannabis before he'll advocate for changes to Indiana law.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb refuses to follow President Joe Biden’s lead and pardon Hoosiers convicted of simple marijuana possession.

Biden announced recently he would pardon everyone convicted federally of simple possession of cannabis.

But the bulk of Americans convicted of that offense are at the state level, and so Biden urged governors to use their pardon power the way he did.

Holcomb said he can’t “in good conscience” issue blanket pardons when marijuana possession is still a crime. As he has said many times before, he wants Congress to change federal law on cannabis before he'll advocate for changes to Indiana law.

The governor also noted that Indiana’s expungement process allows those with low-level offenses like simple marijuana possession to have their records sealed – shielding them from employers and applications for licenses and housing.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has not yet said how he will approach the issue. WEKU reports he recently called for reviewing information about how many Kentuckians are convicted of simple marijuana possession.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.