Biden pardons convicts of marijuana possession: 'Too many lives upended' | World News - Hindustan Times
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Biden pardons convicts of marijuana possession: 'Too many lives upended'

By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
Oct 07, 2022 07:18 AM IST

The move is expected to help those denied employment, housing or educational opportunities as they are tagged with criminal records for facing convictions for marijuana possession.

United States President Joe Biden has announced pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of marijuana possession under federal law - a step towards decriminalising the drug and addressing charging practices that have been found to have disproportionately impacted people of colour.

Biden’s move does not cover non-citizens who were in the U.S. without legal status at the time of their arrest.(Twitter/The White House)
Biden’s move does not cover non-citizens who were in the U.S. without legal status at the time of their arrest.(Twitter/The White House)

Biden, in a statement, said the move reflects his position that no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana. “Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana," he added. “It’s time that we right these wrongs.”

Biden said that sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit, and highlighted the problem of racial disparities around prosecution and conviction.

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The statement further read about Biden’s three approaches to handle this issue. He announced the pardoning of “all prior Federal offences of simple possession of marijuana.” Biden also urged the governors to do away with state offences on marijuana in a bid to expand the scope of reforms. He further said that there would be an administrative process to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law which currently classifies Marijuana under ‘most dangerous substances’, treated in the same category as heroin or LSD.

The move is expected to help those denied employment, housing or educational opportunities as they are tagged with criminal records for facing convictions for marijuana possession. Biden’s move does not cover non-citizens who were in the U.S. without legal status at the time of their arrest.

His statement also read that despite these reforms, regulations and important limitations on trafficking, marketing and underage sales will stay the same.

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