New Pardons On Federal Marijuana ChargesPosted by On

On Thursday Oct. 6, Pres. Biden pardoned people with prior federal offenses of marijuana possession. The pardon will forgive around 6,500 who have been convicted of simple marijuana possession at the federal level. It is not expected to remove anyone from federal prison because no one with this federal offense of cannabis possession is currently incarcerated. The pardon is expected to help prior offenders when applying for housing or employment and is seen as a step in the right direct for cannabis reform in the country. 

The Justice Department stated, “Conspiracy, distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and other charges involving marijuana are not pardoned by the proclamation.” This means the pardon does not impact the estimated 3,000 people who remain in federal prison after being convicted of higher level marijuana possession.  It also does not affect those incarcerated at the state level, where most people are imprisoned for marijuana possession. While the current number of people behind bars for marijuana possession is unclear, The Last Prisoner Project estimates that around 30,000 people are incarcerated for cannabis at the state level in the U.S. Biden’s pardon does not extend to state criminal charges, but he called on governors to forgive the possession charges in their states and said, “Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely for possessing marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason,…

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