Biden’s pot pardons could boost states’ legalization drive

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Biden’s pot pardons could boost states’ legalization drive

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — There are few surprises expected on Election Day in solidly Republican Arkansas, where Donald Trump’s former press secretary is heavily favored in the race for governor and other GOP candidates are considered locks.

President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that he will pardon thousands of people for simple marijuana possession has shined a new spotlight on the legalization efforts in Arkansas and four other states. Voters in Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota are also taking up measures on recreational marijuana.

“The most powerful elected leader in the world has publicly declared it was a mistake to criminalize people for using cannabis and I think that will go a long with voters who may be on the fence,” said Mason Tvert, partner at VS Strategies, a cannabis policy and public affairs firm.

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