JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — News Channel 11 spoke with State Representative Bud Hulsey of Kingsport about the new ‘simple possession’ of marijuana pardons President Biden put into effect last week.
Like others News Channel 11 spoke with, he said the pardon won’t change jail populations across Tennessee, but agreed that adjustments in the laws should be made.
“One thing I’ve thought about that we probably [should] change is, you do have people that have personal use of marijuana and they’ll have three four, five grams over a half ounce, but they don’t sell. It’s for them, but they can be charged with that same kind of felony as if they had 9 and a half pounds,” said Husley. “So we probably need in the legislature to adjust that to the way it [should] be so the charges are really correct and really accurate.”
Husley said he believes the pardon from The President comes from him pushing to get marijuana legalization in all 50 states. “I think that [Biden] realizes that simple possession and a pardon of that is a [really] small thing compared to what I think the real issue is. [I] think that’s what he’s pushing, is trying to get legalization in all 50 states.”
Hulsey doesn’t foresee Tennessee’s legislature legalizing the drug, especially since it’s a schedule 6 drug, the lowest in the state’s system.
“I think the majority of people in my district, the majority of them that vote would not agree that marijuana should be legalized. I think they’d think that and I have real reservations about it myself,” said Husley.
Marijuana is illegal under federal law, despite being legal in some states for recreational and medicinal use.
Thursday’s announcement made clear that no one is in federal prison for simple marijuana possession. The President called on governors to take similar action since more people have been convicted at that level.