Politics

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin Issues Blanket Pardons For Closed Marijuana Convictions


Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Randall Woodfin issued a blanket pardon for people who have closed marijuana convictions on the 420 holiday – again.

Woodfin, 40, signed an executive order for the pardons in a video posted to the Birmingham official Twitter accounts on Wednesday, April 20. Four twenty is the day the cannabis community celebrates marijuana culture. Woodfin did the same thing in 2021.

“As you know this time last year, I used my executive powers to pardon anyone who had a prior marijuana conviction in the City of Birmingham. That was well over 15,000 people,” Woodfin said. “Before me is another executive order with an effective date as of today for the continuation of that work for anyone who has been convicted since then.

“The point is very simple,” Woodfin continued. “18 states across the nation have legalized marijuana and 39 states in our union have made some form of medical marijuana legal. I think it’s past time for the state of Alabama to catch up.”

Alabama needs to “decriminalize marijuana … because it hurts and harms people,” Woofin said before signing the order. “People in Alabama deserve a second chance.”

In a similar video posted to his personal Twitter page, Woodfin said he signed the executive order because “it was the right thing to do.”

In the caption, Woodfin wrote, “Too many Alabamians are left out of economic opportunities due to prior marijuana convictions. Legalize marijuana and end this injustice.”

Mayor Woodfin encouraged other lawmakers across the state and country to follow his lead.

“Use your pardon power to exercise giving people a second chance,” he said. “Do the right thing and legalize marijuana.”

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Twitter users chimed in, many agreeing with Woodfin’s stance that cannabis should be legalized.

“When you’re right, you’re right. People deserve a second chance,” @NufocusfromBham responded. “Sometimes young people make bad decisions that they later regret. Kudos, Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Randall Woodfin. Your blessings will continue to come.”

“Legalize Alabama… Set people free from bondage. Now people are legally profiting from what made others a criminal,” @fxynina tweeted.

“No problem, I agree one hundred percent. You do have people with epilepsy, and that would help with that medical condition, my mom is one who has it,” @BrittneySearig2 weighed in.

“Proud that he is our mayor,” @patsullyyy wrote.

A few criticized Woodfin’s actions. One was against the pardons while another said the pardons weren’t enough since people are still being arrested for marijuana offenses in Alabama.

“STOP! THC attaches to specific receptors of cells or neurons that are a part of a communication network in the brain that is important for normal brain development and function. It can affect decision making, concentration, and memory for days after use,” a Twitter account identified as Partnership for a Drug-Free Community wrote.

“Plenty of cities have made cannabis law enforcement the ‘lowest priority’ for the police. Why isn’t he willing to do that? Other than removing an opportunity for a marketing video on 4/20. Quit f***ing with peoples lives,” @bbhoss wrote.

Another user encouraged Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed to take Woodfin’s advice and follow his lead. She pointed out how Black people are disproportionately affected by the marijuana laws.

“Black residents of Montgomery are 4x as likely as white residents to be arrested for simple possession of marijuana. Those arrests spiral into life-derailing catastrophes. Your move, @stevenlouisreed,” @leahnelson wrote. “Please use your pardon power to give Montgomery residents a 2nd chance!”

Photo: Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin issued a blanket pardon for people who have closed marijuana convictions, YouTube Screenshot / City of Birmingham.



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