On Thursday, October 6th, President Joseph Biden pardoned all convicted federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. According to a statement from President Biden, “Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit.” It is estimated that over 6,500 were convicted of simple possession between 1992 and 2021 under federal law.
However, President Biden’s pardon was not the only action he took for marijuana reform on Thursday. In addition to the pardon, President Biden urged all state governors to take similar actions, and pardon those who have been convicted of simple marijuana possession under state law. Since most simple marijuana possession charges happen at the state level, thousands of more Americans would be pardoned if states take similar action.
President Biden also asked Health and Human Services and the Justice Department to review the federal classification of marijuana. Right now, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for the most dangerous drugs. Marijuana sits in the same classification as heroin and is in a higher classification than fentanyl and methamphetamine.
Leaf Trade is proud to see our national government take concrete steps to help support marijuana reform. We hope to see states take similar actions to help benefit the lives of American citizens who have faced employment, housing, and educational challenges due to criminal records for marijuana possession.