Marijuana Moment reports
The Justice Department is backing a proposal to update a federal commission’s sentencing guidelines suggesting that judges treat prior marijuana possession offenses more leniently, arguing that it aligns with the Biden administration’s “sentiment” toward cannabis policy.
Members of the federal U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) voted to propose the amendment in January. And at a public hearing on Wednesday, a federal prosecutor testified on behalf of DOJ in support of the cannabis item.
As it stands, federal judges are directed to take into account prior convictions, including state-level cannabis offenses, as aggravating factors when making sentencing decisions. But as more states have moved to legalize marijuana, advocates have pushed for updated guidelines to make it so a person’s marijuana record doesn’t add criminal history points that could lead to enhanced sentences in new cases.
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