October 8, 2022

Joe Biden asked governors to consider pardoning simple possession of pot on the state level. Umbrage ensued! Via the Houston Chronicle:

In response to Biden's announcement, Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze issued the following statement: "Texas is not in the habit of taking criminal justice advice from the leader of the defund police party and someone who has overseen a criminal justice system run amuck with cashless bail and a revolving door for violent criminals. The Governor of Texas can only pardon individuals who have been through the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles system with a recommendation for pardon."

Abbott has previously expressed interest in reducing the criminal penalty for marijuana possession to a Class C misdemeanor, but not legalizing the drug. While Biden stopped short of calling for the complete decriminalization of marijuana, he later tweeted that the federal government still needs "important limitations on trafficking, marketing and underage sales of marijuana." However, Abbott's Democratic gubernatorial opponent Beto O'Rourke seized the moment to announce that if elected, he plans to take things a step further.

"When I'm governor, we will finally legalize marijuana in Texas and expunge the records of those arrested for marijuana possession," O'Rourke tweeted Thursday following Biden's announcement. In a follow-up tweet, O'Rourke reiterated his position on the matter, sharing a clip from his recent "Vote 'Em Out" rally where Texas music icon Willie Nelson performed his song "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die."

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