Biden announces pardons for federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana

Richard Vogel/AP

President Joe Biden is pardoning all prior federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana.

In an announcement on Oct. 6, Biden said, “No one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana.”

The president said he’d instructed Attorney General Merrick Garland to develop an administration process so certificates of pardons go out to eligible individuals.

The pardons will not apply to people who were convicted of selling or distributing marijuana.

Biden said thousands of people would be impacted by the decision. He noted that many of those people had been denied employment, housing or educational opportunities as a result of their convictions.

Biden is also asking governors to also use their pardoning powers for marijuana convictions at the state level.

In addition, the president has ordered the attorney general and the secretary of Health and Human Services to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.

It’s currently classified as a Schedule I drug. It’s in the same category as heroin and LSD.

“Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana,” Biden stated. “It’s time that we right these wrongs.”

By Scripps National

Health, News
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