Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Holcomb won't follow Biden's lead and pardon simple marijuana offenses

Indiana Republican Governor Eric Holcomb speaks at a public event. Holcomb is a White man with white and grey hair and beard, wearing glasses and a light blue button-down shirt with a logo for Next Level Indiana - his administration's slogan - above the chest pocket.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
Gov. Eric Holcomb has repeatedly said he wants Congress to change federal law on cannabis before he'll advocate for changes to Indiana law.

Gov. Eric Holcomb refuses to follow President Joe Biden’s lead and pardon Hoosiers convicted of simple marijuana possession.

Biden announced recently he would pardon everyone convicted federally of simple possession of cannabis.

But the bulk of Americans convicted of that offense are at the state level, and so Biden urged governors to use their pardon power the way he did.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.

Holcomb said he can’t “in good conscience” issue blanket pardons when marijuana possession is still a crime. As he has said many times before, he wants Congress to change federal law on cannabis before he'll advocate for changes to Indiana law.

The governor also noted that Indiana’s expungement process allows those with low-level offenses like simple marijuana possession to have their records sealed – shielding them from employers and applications for licenses and housing.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.