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Biden Issues New Pardon for All Simple Marijuana Offenses

On Friday, President Joe Biden has now issued an official declaration that all Americans with a prior marijuana use record, including those who have not been detained or prosecuted, will be granted federal pardons.

All U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who are in possession of marijuana for personal use, as well as those convicted of comparable federal offenses, are eligible for the comprehensive pardon. Additionally, marijuana consumers in the District of Columbia are pardoned.

It excludes individuals incarcerated for the unlawful sale of marijuana, in violation of federal law, as well as those convicted of other marijuana-related offenses like operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an illicit substance.

The potential consequences of Biden’s commutation are substantial, given that criminal records related to marijuana possession and use have hindered access to housing, employment, and educational prospects.

Those who have violated state law are not eligible for pardons; furthermore, documentation of a pardon must be obtained through an application process administered by the Department of Justice.

A year ago, Biden also granted a comparable commutation and made a commitment to implement further reforms. Further, all instances of simple marijuana possession or use were expunged from federal law under this year’s proclamation, including those who had never been charged.

In addition, it amends Biden’s prior directive to encompass minor marijuana-related transgressions committed on federal property.

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