Some legislators and academics are praising President Biden’s Oct. 6 announcement that he would pardon everyone found guilty of marijuana possession in the District of Columbia or at the national level.
There are plenty of people with a history of simple possession convictions who could be excluded from housing, job, or educational prospects as a result. In a speech on the pardon, Biden stated, “My pardon will lift this load.
The Biden government claimed thousands of more persons had convictions under D.C. law in addition to the approximately 6,500 people with federal convictions between 1992 and 2021.
Marijuana possession is a felony that carries a maximum one-year jail sentence for a first offense, a maximum two-year sentence for a second crime, and a maximum three-year sentence for a third or subsequent violation.
However, according to a Biden intelligence source who spoke to reporters on the phone, no one is presently detained in a federal facility purely for marijuana possession.
The USA is officially lit, Joe Biden is going to reschedule and decriminalize weed federally pic.twitter.com/WI6CDUcK26
— Dexerto (@Dexerto) October 6, 2022
Marijuana is categorized as a Category I substance under federal law. The Banned Substance Act’s highest category, Schedule I, is set aside for medicines with “a high potential for misuse” and no recognized medicinal value.
In recent years, an increasing number of states have legalized marijuana possession and other drug crimes. Federal prosecutors seldom file charges against individuals who break the law at the federal level.
According to Biden, “incarcerating people for marijuana possession has upended lives and imprisoned people for behavior that many jurisdictions no longer ban.”
A Department of Justice spokesperson, Anthony Coley, stated the organization will “expeditiously execute the president’s decree” and begin a procedure that will issue certificates of amnesty to the pertinent parties.
The amnesties do not extend to any other crimes. They do not extend to non-citizens who were not authorized to be in the country when they had marijuana, according to Biden’s declaration.
In addition to erasing his convictions for federal violations, Biden is pleading with governors all around the nation to also remove marijuana possession convictions from state records.
It’s great to see someone like Biden, who previously had neanderthal views on weed, evolve and realize how awful US marijuana policy has been and still is (especially for non-white communities). Hoping to see him go all the way and deschedule it.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) October 6, 2022
In a post on Twitter, Biden elaborated on the choice
“As I’ve already stated, nobody should be imprisoned for merely smoking or owning marijuana,” wrote Biden. “I’m taking action now to put a stop to our disastrous strategy.”
“First, I’m going to pardon all past federal possession of marijuana charges,” he added.
“There are hundreds of individuals who may be excluded from housing, job, or educational prospects as a result of prior simple possession convictions. This weight will be lifted by my pardon.”
“Secondly, I’m urging governors to forgive infractions of basic state marijuana possession. No one ought to be incarcerated purely for marijuana possession in a state or municipal jail any more than they ought to be incarcerated in a federal facility.”This article appeared in Powerhouse News and has been published here with permission.