Biden Announces Pardon of Prior Federal Offenses of Simple Possession of Marijuana

    President Biden pardoned thousands of people with prior federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana, The New York Times reports.

    About 6,500 people were convicted of simple possession between 1992 and 2021, not counting legal permanent residents. The pardons also apply to the estimated thousands of people who were convicted under District of Columbia drug laws, the article notes.

    Biden also urged all governors to pardon people convicted on state charges of simple possession. “Just as no one should be in a Federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either,” he said in a statement.

    The president also said his administration would review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law. Federal law currently classifies marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the classification meant for the most dangerous substances. This is the same schedule as for heroin and LSD, and even higher than the classification of fentanyl and methamphetamine.


    October 2022