Presidential Marijuana Pardons Can't Erase The Destruction of Black Drug Criminalization

Man lighting cigarette in the dark
Via Pexels
Tremain Prioleau II
October 25, 2022

In line with the societal push for marijuana legalization, the Biden administration announced pardons for simple possession and encouraged governors to do the same. This may seem amazing on the surface, but major issues still linger despite this move.

How many people will this presidential move really affect? Not many, unfortunately. According to data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, just “92 people were sentenced for marijuana possession in the federal system in 2017, out of a total of nearly 20,000 drug convictions.”

With so few people convicted for simple possession federally each year, the majority of Black people incarcerated for marijuana related charges remain high - even after federal pardons. 


Legal marijuana is projected to bring in over $32 billion in revenue in 2022 and is responsible for creating 428,000 full time jobs as of January 2022. Barriers to licenses and criminal histories are keeping us from sharing this newfound wealth.

Marijuana legalization is gaining widespread support. We have to continue to push for our rights and for abolition of prisons all together.

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack Finance is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK FINANCIAL NEWS & ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT STORIES every year.
  • We fight for ECONOMIC JUSTICE to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: