Biden pardons all federal offenses of simple cannabis possession

Posted on October 6th, 2022 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

BidenUS President Joe Biden on Oct. 6 pardoned “all prior Federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana.” Biden explained that criminal records for marijuana possession have negatively impacted “too many lives,” particularly those of black and brown people through disproportionate conviction rates.

Biden urged governors to pardon marijuana possession offenses at their respective state levels. He also called on the Secretary of Health & Human Services and the US Attorney General to review whether marijuana should remain a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Biden noted that, while marijuana is classified at the level of the most dangerous substances, drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine are classified at a lower level but drive the current overdose epidemic in the US.

Executive director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Erik Altieri responded to Biden’s announcement, saying, the organization is “pleased that today President Biden is following through on this pledge and that he is also encouraging governors to take similar steps to ensure that the tens of millions of Americans with state-level convictions for past marijuana crimes can finally move forward with their lives.”

The House of Representatives passed a bill to federally decriminalize marijuana in April. Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational mrijuana use, with Rhode Island being the most recent

From Jurist, Oct. 6 

Image: White House




Limits of Biden pardons

Global Ganja Report's picture It should be noted that Biden's pardon of cannabis offendors does not mean expungement of records, and is unlikely to actually result in release of anyone currently behind bars. It also excludes those convicted on cannabis along with other offenses.

Chelsea Higgs Wise, executive director of Marijuana Justice, told The Guardian that this exemption has also held back state amnesty efforts: "Legislators feel it’s too complicated to sort through those with multiple offenses along with their marijuana offenses. The lack of political will to address this is really leaving behind many people in our state prisons or jails, as well as those on community supervision with ankle bracelets."
Comment by Global Ganja Report on Oct 7th, 2022 at 12:47 am

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