COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD)- A state lawmaker is pushing for legislation that would pardon one-fifth of South Carolinians convicted of simple marijuana possession on April 20 every year.
Rep. JA Moore (D-Berkeley) filed a bipartisan bill Thursday with Rep. Bill Herbkersman (R-Beaufort) to designate April 20 as “420 Day” in South Carolina.
In observance, the Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services would be required to pardon 20% of inmates who have only been convicted of simple marijuana possession on that date every year.
“It’s backwards to continue to incarcerate people just for simple marijuana possession,” Moore said. “Pardoning these folks is the right thing to do, especially when their ‘crime’ is legal in nearly half of states.”
Last fall, President Biden pardoned thousands of Americans convicted of simple possession of marijuana under federal law
While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, 38 U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical use. 20 states and the District of Columbia allow people to use the drug recreationally, too.
A Winthrop University poll found that just over half (56%) of South Carolinians support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.