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Biden pardons marijuana offenses, calls for review of federal law

The president will also be urging governors to do the same for cases regarding state offenses of civil possession of marijuana.

President Joe Biden on Thursday granted a pardon to all people convicted of simple marijuana possession under federal law, in what amounts to the most extensive White House action taken to date on U.S. drug policy.

The president also urged governors to take similar action for state offenses of civil possession of marijuana. In addition, he called on the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to “expeditiously” review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law. Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I narcotic, meaning it’s deemed to have no medical use and a high potential for abuse. Heroin and LSD are other Schedule I drugs.

“Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit,” Biden said in a statement. “Criminal records for marijuana possession have also imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. And while white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.” [Read More @ Politico]

 

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