Birmingham to Pardon 15,000 Convicted Marijuana Users

Good news for about 15,000 convicted marijuana users in Birmingham, Alabama: The mayor has announced plans to expunge the convictions from their records. Mayor Randall Woodfin says he’s going to issue pardons for residents with minor marijuana convictions on their records – and he’s urging the state of Alabama to do the same.

“These pardons are a strong start, but our work is far from done,” Woodfin says. “Join me in telling the State of Alabama to completely decriminalize marijuana.” Despite Woodfin’s gesture, marijuana possession – regardless of whether it’s for medical reasons — remains illegal in Alabama.

Why would Alabama clear 15,000 marijuana convictions if it’s just going to add new ones? Should marijuana be legalized on a federal level?