|Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe.|
Getting arrested for marijuana can ruin your life in Arkansas. Unless you are the governor’s son, that is.
Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe announced yesterday that he plans to pardon his son’s 2003 felony marijuana charges. Kyle Beebe was convicted of marijuana possession with intent to deliver. Mike Beebe has pardoned nearly 700 nonviolent offenders in during his tenure in office and says his son deserves the same second chance as all the other people he’s let off.
“A significant number of those have been young first time drug offenders because he believes that if you make a mistake especially with nonviolent crime and you straighten your life out, you deserve a second chance,” Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample told the AP. “There’s no reason why he wouldn’t hold his son to that same standard.”
Kyle Beebe applied for the pardon in June. Mike Beebe says he would have pardoned his son sooner, but Kyle never asked.
“I would have done it a long time ago if he’d have asked, but he took his sweet time about asking,” Beebe told local KATV last week. “He was embarrassed. He’s still embarrassed, and frankly, I was embarrassed and his mother was embarrassed. All of the families that go through that, it’s tough on the families, but hopefully the kids learn.”
We actually can’t blame the guy — who wouldn’t want to help their son out as best they could in that situation? And it’s not like we believe anyone should be jailed for nonviolent marijuana-related “crimes”. Though it would be nice if he pardoned every nonviolent marijuana offender in the state system. Or, you know, helped remove some of the penalties in the state that make it one of the worst places to be arrested for cannabis anywhere in north America. Four ounces or less can get you up to a year in jail. Get caught twice with an ounce or more and you’re looking at 6 years in jail. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, there were 5,718 marijuana arrests in 2012 alone with 90 percent for marijuana possession.