As former President Donald Trump’s tenure came to a close on Jan. 20, 2021, he issued a flurry of executive pardons and commutations with just hours left in office. While the batch of 73 pardons and 70 commutations contained a few controversial names, the majority of those who received the 11th-hour pardons and commutations had been championed by criminal justice reform advocates. Of the more than 140 individuals who received clemency from the former president, 12 of them had been incarcerated due to marijuana-related offenses.
The final batch of pardons came after several White House officials and criminal justice reform advocates scrambled for days to finalize the list and convince Trump to approve it. The president’s power of clemency allowed him to issue pardons, amnesties, reprieves and remissions as well as commutations for federally prosecuted crimes. With five more states legalizing marijuana on the November ballot and the House of Representatives passing legislation that would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level, the pardons and commutations for marijuana-related offenses were inevitable.
Most of the defendants, including some who were serving life sentences, had their sentence commuted rather than pardoned. This means their sentences were either reduced or ended while their initial convictions remained. The only individual who received a full pardon was Utah’s Lynn Barney who had served a custodial sentence of 35 months for firearms possession and had been released. Prior to that, he had been convicted on charges of distributing marijuana. A statement from the White House describes him as a “model citizen” who is devoted to his work and children.
Other marijuana offenders who received the last-minute clemency include the following:
- Craig Cesal (61) was serving a life sentence for conspiring to distribute marijuana from Mexico, across the Texas border, and into Georgia back in 2002. His home state Illinois now allows both medical and recreational cannabis.
- James Romans (42) from Indiana who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. His sentence was commuted after he served 10 years.
- Jonathan Braun (36) who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to import marijuana and to commit money laundering.
- Noah Kleinman (45) was sentenced to nearly 20 years in California for illegally distributing marijuana.
- Ferell Damon Scott (56) was sentenced to life for possession with intent to distribute marijuana
- John Knock (73), a first time, nonviolent cannabis offender who was handed two life sentences plus 20 years for conspiracy to import marijuana into Canada and Europe.
- Anthony DeJohn was sentenced to life for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
- Corvain Cooper (41) was sentenced to life for nonviolent participation in a conspiracy to distribute cannabis.
- Way Quoe Long (58) was sentenced to 50 years for nonviolent participation in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana.
- Michael Pelletier (64) was sentenced to 30 years for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
- Brain Simmons was sentenced to 15 years for a nonviolent, marijuana-related offense.
Meanwhile, many companies are thriving within the legal cannabis landscape. A clear example is Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: GRYN). This California-based company has 848 acres used to cultivate hemp, which is USDA Certified Organic. This is by far the largest such farm on the entire North American subcontinent.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: GRYN) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/GRYN
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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