Biden ‘simple possession’ pardon echoes DA Glenn Funk 2020 decree

In 2020, District Attorney Glenn Funk announced that they would no longer prosecute ‘simple possession’ marijuana cases.
President Biden announced Thursday that he would be pardoning all those charged with marijuana-related offenses.
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 4:14 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk applauded President Joe Biden’s pardoning of Americans convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana under federal law Thursday.

In 2020, DA Funk issued a similar announcement, saying that the Nashville District Attorney’s office would no longer prosecute individuals for possessing less than half an ounce of marijuana. He added that resources from the DA’s Office should be devoted to supporting victims and prosecuting violent crimes rather than misdemeanors.

In Tennessee, simple possession of up to one-half of an ounce of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine between $250 to $2,500 for a first offense. For a second offense, the penalty could be more significant.

Funk and Biden agreed that one of the significant factors for these decisions is by taking a step toward decriminalizing the drug and addressing charging practices that disproportionately impact people of color.

Biden called on governors to issue similar pardons for those convicted of state marijuana offenses, which reflect the vast majority of marijuana possession cases.

WSMV4 reached out to Gov. Bill Lee for comment but has not received a response.