President of United States, Joe Biden has pardoned all federal offenders convicted of “simple possession” of the marijuana in the country.
The announcement was made on Thursday by Biden via his official Twitter handle.
“First: I’m pardoning all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. There are thousands of people who were previously convicted of simple possession who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result. My pardon will remove this burden,” the tweet reads.
“Second: I’m calling on governors to pardon simple state marijuana possession offenses. Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely for possessing marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either.
“Third: We classify marijuana at the same level as heroin – and more serious than fentanyl. It makes no sense. I’m asking @SecBecerra and the Attorney General to initiate the process of reviewing how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.
“I’d also like to note that as federal and state regulations change, we still need important limitations on trafficking, marketing, and underage sales of marijuana.
“Sending people to jail for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives – for conduct that is legal in many states. That’s before you address the clear racial disparities around prosecution and conviction. Today, we begin to right these wrongs.”
Marijuana is illegal under the US federal law, even as individual states have moved toward legal use for recreational and medical purposes.
In late 2020, the house passed a measure that would decriminalise marijuana at the federal level, but it wasn’t taken up in the Republican-controlled senate.
The move by Biden is a fulfilment of his campaign promise when he said “no one should be in jail because of marijuana”.
“As President, I will decriminalize cannabis use and automatically expunge prior convictions,” he had added.