Marijuana Decriminalization Achieves Significant Milestone
In a surprise announcement this afternoon, President Biden confirmed that he would pardon all federal prisoners who are currently locked up for simple marijuana possession offenses. He also committed to look at the classification of cannabis under Schedule 1.
The pardons only apply to federal offenders convicted of simple marijuana possession as well as those charged in the District of Columbia. President Biden has challenged other governors across the country to follow suit.
A White House official confirmed the move impacts approximately 6,500 individuals with prior convictions for simple marijuana possession. There are several thousand more impacted through pardons under D.C. law. Pardons will not be extended to those who weren't U.S. citizens and who were illegally in the country at the time of arrest.
“Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either,” Biden tweeted. “Today, I’m taking steps to end our failed approach.”
US Cannabis Council (USCC) CEO, Khadijah Tribble commended the move and agreed it aligns with many of the council’s goals.
“...No one should be in jail just for using or possessing cannabis. This executive action will positively impact countless Americans who have been saddled with criminal histories and the unjust suffering and consequences of cannabis prohibition. This is a particularly cathartic moment for Black and brown communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the criminalization of cannabis.
“This announcement comes on the heels of the Biden administration appointing the first advisor on cannabis research and regulation at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and further reinforces the fact that it’s just a question of when—not if—cannabis is decriminalized altogether."
We're pleased to see the continued progress for the industry.