Yesterday President Joe Biden announced a history making move on Marijuana. He said he will pardon all federal offenses for simple possession of weed. This move would benefit about 6,500 Americans and it’s a significant step toward decriminalizing the drug, which also addresses the charging practices that disproportionally impact people of color.
In addition, he also called to governors to issue similar pardons at the State level, this is where most Marijuana cases lie. It is important to note this pardon doesn’t cover possession of other drugs, or charges relating to “producing or possessing marijuana with the intent to sell of distribute”. Biden is also NOT pardoning non-U.S. Citizens who were in the country illegally at the time of their arrest.
Currently the Department of Justice is working on a plan on how those benefiting from this pardon will receive a certificate, which could be shown to potential employers and landlords. This certificate will restore the political, civil, and other rights to those convicted on simple possession of weed.
Additionally, the President has directed the secretary of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Attorney General to review how Marijuana is scheduled under federal law. This could reduce or eliminate criminal penalty for possession. Weed is currently classified as a Schedule 1 drug, along with Heroin and LSD.
It is important to note, there will continue to be stringent measures on trafficking, marketing, and underage sales.
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