President Biden is going to pardon all prior federal offenses relating to simple marijuana possession. This is another step taken towards decriminalizing the drug.
According to senior officials, all those who were convicted of simple possession of marijuana will be pardoned. The White House also addressed that while both people of color and white people use marijuana, people of color are usually “arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.”
Biden in a Tweet on Thursday said that he has previously stated that no one should be in jail simply for possessing or even using marijuana. He also added that by having people in jail for possession many lives have been upended. Further, he noted that in many states the use of marijuana is completely legal.
These pardons will allow those who have marijuana possession convictions to be able to find homes and jobs again more easily. Biden has said that those with federal convictions often struggle with finding employment, housing, or even educational opportunities.
Biden has also been urging governors to follow the suggestions of Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to look at the classification that marijuana is given under federal drug laws.
Biden says that marijuana which is currently classified as a “schedule one” substance should be reviewed once again as it does not make sense for it to be classified with heroin and LSD.
Many big cities, like New York, have also taken steps to decriminalize low-level marijuana arrests.