President Joe Biden issued a directive today expanding the pool of marijuana offenders eligible for federal pardons.
“I am issuing a Proclamation that will pardon additional offenses of simple possession and use of marijuana under federal and D.C. law,” the President stated. “Criminal records for marijuana use and possession have imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It’s time that we right these wrongs.”
The President issued a similar pardon proclamation last October, and in March the Justice Department opened an online portal for eligible applicants to apply for pardon certificates. Estimates provided at that time by the US Sentencing Commission suggested that nearly 7,000 Americans with low-level federal marijuana-related convictions would be eligible for relief under the directive.
It is not yet clear how many additional citizens with federal records will be eligible for relief under the President’s latest proclamation.
NORML had called upon the Administration to grant blanket pardon relief to nonviolent marijuana offenders shortly after the President took office.
The President also called upon state officials to take similar steps. “Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely due to the use or possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either,”…