Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said he won’t consider pardons for low-level marijuana offenders after President Joe Biden called on governors across the country to consider pardons.
“Texas is not in the habit of taking criminal justice advice from the leader of the defund police party and someone who has overseen a criminal justice system run amuck [sic] with cashless bail and a revolving door for violent criminals,” Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze said in a statement Thursday.
The statement came after Biden announced a pardon of all prior federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana. He also called for a review of marijuana’s current status as a Schedule 1 drug and asked governors to consider pardons of low-level weed offenders.
“Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely for possessing marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either,” Biden tweeted.
Abbott spokesperson Eze explained the process of issuing pardons in Texas in her statement, saying Abbott would not consider pardons.
“The governor of Texas can only pardon individuals who have been through the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles system with a recommendation for pardon,” she said.
Meanwhile, Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic nominee for Texas governor, has promised to legalize weed in the state should he be elected.
“When I’m governor, we will legalize marijuana and expunge the records of those arrested for marijuana possession — and we’ll use the nearly $1 billion in new state revenue and reduced criminal justice costs to invest in public schools and reduce property taxes,” O’Rourke’s campaign website says.