INDIANAPOLIS–On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced plans to pardon all federal offenses of simple marijuana possession and called on state governors to do the same. He also announced his request for the reclassification of marijuana. This drastic move could shape the future of marijuana policy across the nation and in Indiana, where Governor Holcomb has repeatedly said he will wait for federal law to change before supporting legalization.

Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Eddie Melton ( D-Gary) who has introduced  legislation to legalize cannabis in previous sessions released the following statement:

“I commend the Biden Administration for taking critical action to begin addressing cannabis reform. By pardoning simple marijuana possession on the federal level, this administration is giving people who have been hindered the ability to access housing, employment and so many more opportunities. As the President said, thousands of people are limited because of strict marijuana laws, and I’m pleased to see action to reclassify marijuana so it’s not on the same level as a drug like heroin.

“I’m even more pleased for what this means for Indiana. Governor Holcomb has repeatedly said that he’s waiting for federal action before our state can act on marijuana legalization. That federal action is happening now, and I echo President Biden’s call for Governor Holcomb to pardon simple marijuana possession in our state. The vast majority of convictions happen at the state level, and it’s imperative that our Legislature join the federal government in taking action to comprehensively move forward on marijuana reform.

“Thanks to President Biden, our country is finally headed in the right direction with marijuana legalization, and I will be working next session to ensure our state is moving forward with the rest of the nation and not continuing to stagger behind.”