President Pardons Federal Offenses for Simple Marijuana Possession

Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty you are free at last!

President Biden on Thursday pardoned all people convicted of marijuana possession under federal law and said his administration would review whether marijuana should still be a Class 1 drug like heroin and LSD.

The pardons will clear about 6,500 people who were convicted on federal charges of simple possession of marijuana from 1992 to 2021 and thousands more who were convicted of possession in the District of Columbia, officials said. Officials said the president would urge governors to follow his lead for people convicted on state charges of possession.

“Sending people to jail for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives — for conduct that is legal in many states,” Mr. Biden said on Twitter on Thursday. “That’s before you address the clear racial disparities around prosecution and conviction. Today, we begin to right these wrongs.”

As part of the move, the President will task the Department of Health and Human Services and Attorney General Merrick Garland to “expeditiously” review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law, the first step toward potentially decriminalizing it at the federal level.

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

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