Drug Law

Obama Pardons 8, Including 2 for Marijuana Crimes

| by NORML
By "Cannabis Karri"

The White House issued eight presidential pardons today, including two for cannabis crimes. This is the second set of pardons President Obama has granted. So far, he has granted 17 pardons in total. At this point in the previous administration, George W. Bush had only granted twelve. Both those numbers are low compared to the number of pardons granted by the previous 10 administrations. Mr. Obama has received 672 petitions for pardons and over 4,000 requests for commutation of sentence.

A presidential pardon not only forgives the crime for which an individual was convicted. It also removes the penalties for that crime. Today’s list of eight individuals, however, have served all their jail terms and the probation periods already. The oldest crime for which a pardon will be granted occurred in 1975, and the most recent was in 2001. Two of the crimes on the list were for marijuana.

On the top of the list was Randy Dyer, from Washington. His offense was conspiracy to import hashish and conspiracy to remove baggage from the custody and control of the US customs. Also on the list was Christine Rossiter, from Nebraska who was convicted of distributing less than 50 kilograms of marijuana. Her sentence from 1992 was three years probation and 500 hours of community service. There was another drug offender on the list, for manufacture of methamphetamine. There was a satellite cable thief, an illegal gun seller ( a tax issue), another tax reporting evader, and a man from South Carolina who was convicted for selling illegal American alligator hides.