A South Carolina lawmaker has introduced legislation to pardon inmates convicted of simple cannabis possession each year on April 20.
House Bill 7614, introduced by Rep. JA Moore, D-Berkeley County, would designate April 20 as “420 Day” and require the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon to each year pardon 20% of incarcerated South Carolinians who are serving time for cannabis possession, according to a WCIV report.
“Possession of marijuana is a nonviolent offense, and it’s a crime that has been enforced unjustly since its inception,” Moore told the news outlet. “We need to force a conversation on this issue, and that is the intention of my bill.”
Currently, the possession of 28 grams of cannabis or less is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to a 30-day jail sentence for a first offense, WCIV reported. Subsequent offenses, also classified as misdemeanors, are punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and fines of up to $1,000.
South Carolina lawmakers are also considering a medical cannabis legalization bill this year; S. 150, the SC Compassionate Care Act, cleared the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee earlier this month and can now be considered on the House floor. The South Carolina Senate approved the legislation in early February.
The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on May 12.]]>