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After president’s marijuana pardons, Kentucky examining what can be done in the state

By Alex Suckow

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    FRANKFORT, Kentucky (WLKY) — Kentucky’s governor said he’s examining the president’s call for state’s to issue pardons for some marijuana offenses.

Last week, President Joe Biden said he was pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana under federal law. He then asked governors to do the same.

Gov. Andy Beshear, who supports medical marijuana legislation, said he was not briefed before the president made that request, and is now looking into what they can do.

On Thursday, he explained that there are differences between federal and state law (read them by clicking the link) and said his administration will be taking the time to analyze them before they take any more steps.

Beshear also said he asked the Administrative Office of the Courts for more information on how many Kentuckians could be eligible for a state pardon on a possession-only charge.

“Let me be clear, I agree that no one should be in jail simply because of possession of marijuana,” Beshear said in a news release. “I know the vast majority of Kentuckians demand medical cannabis be legalized, and I am committed to keeping Kentuckians updated as we review the information and make plans to move forward.”

Beshear encouraged anyone who has a misdemeanor charge for simple possession of marijuana to visit the governor’s website and apply for a pardon.

Beshear’s administration has been working since April to figure out what he can do under law to legalize medical marijuana statewide, and has a task force to gauge interest across the state.

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