President Joe Biden on Thursday pardoned thousands of people convicted of marijuana possession by the federal government, restoring their full political and civil rights. Governors nationwide should follow suit, and Gov. Tom Wolf should consider extending the deadline of a state pardon project.
Biden’s pardons affect only about 6,500 people. Nevertheless, the action is a step toward more rational and humane drug policies. The nation’s drug laws, exemplified by the War on Drugs, have been a disaster, punishing addiction instead of treating it, and meting out draconian sentences for drug use that are out-of-step with science and public opinion. Nearly 70% of Americans support legalizing marijuana, Gallup polling shows.