President Biden Pardons Those Convicted of Federal Marijuana Possession; Seeks Review of Marijuana’s Schedule I Status
Yesterday President Biden pardoned all people convicted of marijuana possession under federal law, according to several news outlets. He also stated that his administration would review marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
The pardons will clear about 6,500 people convicted of simple possession of marijuana from 1992-2021, and thousands more convicted of possession in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the vast majority of marijuana convictions stem from state laws unaffected by President Biden’s order, but the president did encourage state governors to follow his example. It remains to be seen whether any governors will follow suit and whether the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice will seek to re-schedule or even de-schedule marijuana, but this move does represent a long-awaited signal from the Biden administration regarding the overall decriminalization of cannabis and provides relief for thousands of people who have suffered under America’s so-called “War on Drugs.”
This also comes as welcome news to publicly traded cannabis companies, many of whom that have seen significant upticks in stock prices today in response to the president’s actions, showing that today’s events have given some relief to a struggling industry as well as to those directly affected by America’s historically unjust and biased treatment of non-violent cannabis “offenders.”
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