Marijuana convict pardoned by Trump talks clemency, criminal justice reform

Donald Trump has received criticism for a slew of pardons benefiting party loyalists and cronies on his way out of office. But some more traditional, justice-driven clemencies are naturally flying under the radar.

One of them was given to Weldon Angelos, who served 13 years in prison for a federal marijuana conviction. He received a pardon from the president just before Christmas, thanks to lobbying efforts by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

Angelos has been a free man since 2016, but the pardon will still have a big impact on his life.

“It’s the second best thing that’s happened to me in my life—the first being relief from a 55-year sentence,” he told Marijuana Moment’s Kyle Jaeger.

“I’m hoping that the next administration starts making pardons and commutations so regular they don’t generate headlines. That’s really what I want to see happen.”

Angelos is now a criminal justice reform advocate. He worked closely with Lee on the First Step Act. He says he'd like to see all prisoners serving time on federal marijuana-related crimes released by the president.

Read the full interview with Angelos here.