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Joe Biden announced pardoned thousand of marijuana users who had been convicted for possessing the drug. This latest round was designed to cover people who were overlooked  in the run-up to last year’s vote-buying exercise midterm elections, and is probably aimed at bolstering the unpopular President’s flagging support among younger Democrats. The administration also called on state governors to pardon people for similar state crimes.

While I agree that prohibition of cannabis isn’t working any better than it did for alcohol, and that needlessly ruining people’s lives over it only helps keep them in the cycle of addiction, I think we need to ask some important questions about the President’s pardon power and its use by future Republican presidents.

One big idea that came up on social media was the issue of pardons for people involved in the events of January 6, 2021.

While I initially thought that was hyperbole, Biden’s announcement does in fact apply to all who have ever committed these federal crimes, regardless of whether they’ve been arrested or convicted.

“Therefore, acting pursuant to the grant of authority in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution of the United States, I, Joseph R. Biden Jr., do hereby grant a full, complete, and unconditional pardon to all current United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who, on or before the date of this proclamation, committed or were convicted of the offense of simple possession of marijuana, attempted simple possession of marijuana, or use of marijuana, regardless of whether they have been charged with or prosecuted for these offenses on or before the date of this proclamation…” (emphasis added)

It’s clear that a president has the power to issue pardons for crimes that haven’t been charged or prosecuted. For example, President Nixon got a pardon from Gerald R. Ford after he left office which kept him from being prosecuted for crimes related to the Watergate scandal.

This hasn’t been tested in court, but nobody has ever opposed it and there doesn’t appear to be a constitutional basis to limit pardons only to those crimes that have been charged or convicted.

So, it’s fair to bring up January 6th. The federal government is still, even after all this time, digging up information and indicting people who were in or near the U.S. Capitol that day. Those people could have been protected by a blanket pardon despite never having been convicted of a crime at the time Trump left office in 2021. While he didn’t issue such a pardon, doing so is now one of his campaign promises should he be reelected next year.

However you feel about January 6th or weed, it’s important that we start demanding more use of the pardon power to indemnify the exercise of constitutionally-protected rights, especially our natural rights protected by the Second Amendment. Instead of looking at the pardon power as some nice thing presidents can choose to do at will, we should expect this of them. After all, Presidents take an oath that they “…will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

One very important thing the next Republican president can and should do on day one is use the power of the pardon to undo damage caused by unconstitutional federal firearms laws. Think: felon in possession prohibitions, “unlawful” sales of firearms, and, of course, unlawful possession by marijuana users. These laws were never legitimate to begin with, and thus such pardons would protect innocent people from further unlawful government persecution.

We should hold presidents accountable to uphold their oath of office and demand that they recognize that “the best of their abilities” includes the use of that pardon power. Such pardons can and should be conducted regularly to prevent further prosecutions of unconstitutional laws until such time as they are repealed or struck down by the the legislative or legal process.

 

 

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46 COMMENTS

  1. “It’s clear that a president has the power to issue pardons for crimes that haven’t been charged or prosecuted.”

    for specific individuals. its less clear that the president can issue a blanket pardon for ALL citizens without naming each one specifically, especially if they would not have faced prosecution.

    effectively, this blanket pardon is saying ‘all citizens who used pot that never faced conviction for it, are now felons but ya just won’t be prosecuted for it.” ’cause the president can’t pardon a person unless that person has or will have a real possibility of being prosecuted or will be or is incarcerated/sentenced for a crime…

    • Pres. Johnson didn’t let that stop him.

      Trump could have pardoned all the 06JAN21 participants and, at worst, any prosecution attempt would have to first get a decision that the pardon was invalid. But he didn’t. Of course he now says he’ll pardon them if re-elected, but simple fact is that he chose not to when he had the power to last time.

      https://www.loc.gov/resource/rbpe.23602600/

        • Irrelevant. As Pres. Johnson showed, president can issue a blanket pardon for anyone who was directly or indirectly involved in a rebellion, regardless of whether they’ve yet been charged or convicted.

        • I don’t think anyone could foresee how far the DOJ would be willing to go with the Jan 6 charges. Dems regularly crash and hold up Senate hearings. They barely get a slap on the wrist. A Dem Representative intentionally disrupted Congress by pulling a fire alarm. Why isn’t he rotting in prison like some of the people who trespassed outdoors without even entering the Capitol? How about the people in prison for thought crimes related to Jan 6? That Rep. has Democrat privilege.

    • Plus, for those already convicted of crimes for pot use or possession – a presidential pardon DOES NOT expunge or erase the conviction. If you were convicted you are still a convicted criminal, if it was a felony conviction you are still a convicted felon.

      Additionally, a presidential pardon for pot use or possession does not remove a state or federal government ability to convict you of a crime related to that pot use or possession. For example, if you lied on the 4473 about your pot use the federal government can still prosecute you for lying on the form. The fact that you were ‘pardoned’ from the pot use by a presidential pardon does not absolve you of the legal responsibility to have been truthful on the form. Another example, if you were convicted of driving while intoxicated while under the influence of pot a pardon does not keep you from being incarcerated for driving while intoxicated because you still had a legal responsibility to not drive while under the influence of any sort of ‘intoxicating’ substance.

      All a presidential pardon does, if already convicted or if you had a real possibility of facing prosecution and conviction, is facilitate removal of legal disabilities imposed because of the prosecution and/or conviction for the specific pardoned crime and not any other crime/offense that might be involved. If you have been charged but not yet prosecuted and convicted of use or possession of pot as of the time of the pardon, a pardon would keep that ‘prosecuted and convicted’ from happening but the charge can still remain although would most likely be non-proc’d or dismissed.

      However, say, for example, you live in a state where pot is legal – its likely you would not have been charged with a pot use or possession unless you did it on federal property in the state but lets say your use/possession was not on federal property so in effect this political grandstanding pardon does absolutely zero for you and DOES NOT actually ‘pardon’ you from that use/possession ’cause the president can’t pardon a person unless that person has or will have a real possibility of being prosecuted or will be or is incarcerated/sentenced for a crime.

  2. Well, Biden has already figured this all out. This idea is to GIVE foreign citizens these guns. NOT sell them. I thought everyone knew this. Everything he does is done with the expressed purpose of removing every resource America has. Something that really should be seen as treason. I find the whole thing interesting since Biden is also trying so very hard to fund so many more arms to Ukraine.

    It is interesting that even though Colt has it’s headquarters in the states, it’s owned by a company headquartered in Prague. There might be BerettaUSA but Beretta is Italian. Mossberg might have trouble ‘selling’ the Maverick88 to the people of Isreal though.

    Ultimately this is all about this country being forced to live in the mind of a communist mental case. If you don’t want to vote for Trump then fine but every vote to a Democrat is one in favor of death and destruction.

    • “Everything he does is done with the expressed purpose of removing every resource America has.”

      Wait until you find out about that new hotness, Natural Asset Companies (NACs).

      • The Climate Change issue is a group of politicians and the companies that follow them that will will themselves create the death and human misery that they claim to be interested in preventing. Their agenda destroys, not builds.

    • Yes, Colt Firearms is now a subsidiary of the Czech holding company Colt CZ Group (since 2021).

      It went like this: Colt Firearms was a subsidiary of Colt Holding Company LLC. In 2021 the Czech holding company Colt CZ Group acquired a 100% stake in Colt Holding Company LLC, which also included the Canadian subsidiary Colt Canada, for $220 million and 1,098,620 shares of Colt CZ Group stock.

    • He could always do that.

      The only reason he hasn’t is because he needs to find out where all the investigations lead so he can pardon his entire family for everything all at once.

      Pardoned people don’t cut deals with prosecutors for the crimes the AUSA doesn’t yet know about.

    • Just like the menthol cigarette ban he wanted, that’s off the table until after the election, he can’t risk alienating the urban brothers anymore than he has already with his crappy economy.

    • this should come as no surprise….since Biden has been in office over 87,000 violent criminals have been released from incarceration or conviction or refusal by democrat DA to prosecute, under democrat policies. 23,000 of them were violent repeat domestic abusers, 11,000 were violent repeat sex offenders (including rapists), and the rest were a combination of other violent crimes including murder. 87% were black, and the rest a combination of other races. in over 82% of their crimes the victim either died or was permanently disabled. all of these released in areas of the country under democrat control.

    • There is no pretending. There is also no pretending that Biden is fit for office. Right now, DC is being run by lunatics. I’ll take Trump any day.

        • To a point.

          The AP told us that Biden is our president and we are to accept that or else.

          We are also told that we MUST take the Covid shots, mask up, and shut ourselves inside our homes or we will be takin away for political reeducation. But this nation exist because what we are told is not always the truth or even the right thing to do.

  3. How about we just go with fewer laws to jam people up?

    I mean the feds don’t know how many laws or how many regulations they actually have FFS.

    Oh, right, “there oughta be a law” is pretty much the watchword for a country full of cowards, morons and shitheels who can’t take care of themselves if you put a gun to their head.

    • Sounds good. Which R congresscritters do you entrust with that task of repealing laws and reining in or defunding the ATF?

      • “Which R congresscritters do you entrust…”

        Which feathers on the right wing of the predatory bird do I trust to hobble the bird?

        Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha *deep breath* hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  4. I look forward to a Republican President. the last one, Bush Jr wasnt the greatest but the on prior, Bush Sr, was very good imo. Reagan was also not very good when it came to keeping spending down. thinking about it there has only been one Republican president this century and only one good one in the 25 years before.
    I don’t think we will get another Republican president in office until Republicans actually runa viable candidate who is actually a Republican

    • Our last Republican president was Trump. Don’t confuse ‘republican’ with ‘conservative’. Those are not the same thing.

      • Trump is NOT a Republican. While he has a business focus he is not fiscally conservative nor is he pro 2nd Amendment nor in favor of states rights nor adhering strictly to thr Constitution. He is definitely all about authoritarian power not balance of power and has already shown his true colors. He chose Republican because it was position that was more exploitable.

        • Being a Conservative is not a requirement for being Republican. If that were the case then there wouldn’t be any RINO’s. Trump is a Republican, but he is not a Conservative.

  5. Issue an NFA amnesty continuously during your presidency, and issue an amnesty for those who have been convicted for simple possession with no other crimes associated with it.

    I think they’re going to find out that a lot of the people pardoned for weed had a lot more than “simple possession” that they either weren’t charged with or that they were charged with.

    That said, I wish that federal legalization would happen as I think it would deprive a lot of people of oxygen on other issues.

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