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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Birmingham Mayor to Pardon 1,000’s of African Americans With Marijuana Convictions

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin

Nationwide — Randall Woodfin, the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, has announced that he will issue blanket pardons to over 15,000 people, which includes many Black men and women who have misdemeanor marijuana convictions.

The pardon was announced on April 20, which is considered a national holiday for cannabis culture. Woodfin noted the importance of the blanket pardon as it would help people who struggled to find work because of minor marijuana charges get jobs more easily.

“Here’s why we’re doing this — no one should be held up by a single past mistake. No one should be denied job opportunities or freedoms due to missteps from the past,” Woodfin said in a statement, also urging the state of Alabama to do the same.

The pardon will automatically apply to recorded marijuana possession convictions in Birmingham dating back to 1990 to 2020, but not including pending cases. It will not cancel fines, fees, or other costs connected to each conviction.

The announcement made by Woodfin, who is a Democrat, came as the Alabama Democratic Party expressed its consideration of legalizing marijuana for recreational and medicinal use in the state.