Biden announces pardons for federal marijuana possession offenses

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – President Biden is taking executive action to pardon all prior federal offenses of “simple” marijuana possession.

In a statement, Biden said, “Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct many states no longer prohibit.”

The president said he will ask the Justice Department and Health and Human Services to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.

President Biden also noted that he will encourage state governors to take similar action with state offenses.

According to a senior White House official, more than 65,000 U.S. citizens from 1992 to 2021 were convicted of simple possession of marijuana under federal law and thousands more were convicted under a Washington, D.C. code.

There are currently no individuals in federal prison solely for the offense.

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