Biden Administration To Pardon Thousands of Federal Marijuana Convictions

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FILE - A demonstrator waves a flag with marijuana leaves depicted on it during a protest calling for the legalization of marijuana, outside of the White House on April 2, 2016, in Washington. President Joe Biden is pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana under federal law, as his administration takes a dramatic step toward decriminalizing the drug and addressing charging practices that disproportionately impact people of color. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
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The Biden administration has announced a plan to pardon thousands of federal marijuana convictions. On Oct. 6, President Biden wrote on Twitter, “Sending people to jail for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives — for conduct that is legal in many states. That’s before you address the clear racial disparities around prosecution and conviction. Today, we begin to right these wrongs.”

While Biden did not decriminalize cannabis, the pardons cleared those convicted on federal charges of simple possession. Approximately 6,500 people were convicted of simple possession between 1992 and 2021. The pardons also include people convicted under District of Columbia drug laws.


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