Obama issues first pardons of presidency, four in cocaine cases

President Obama issued the first pardons of his presidency, excusing the convicts of crimes, many of which were drug-related.

Obama made nine pardons, four of which were in cases related to cocaine convictions.

The other convictions were related to illegal possession of government property, liquor law violations, making false statements to the Food and Drug Administration, passing counterfeit obligations and securities, and mutilation of coins.

Obama has only previously used the power of pardoning for ceremonial purposes: pardoning turkeys ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

By contrast, President George W. Bush pardoned 189 people, and President Clinton pardoned 150.

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