President Biden Grants Pardons for Marijuana-Related Offenses

Staff report

Washington – December 22, 2023

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. issued a proclamation on December 22, 2023, extending pardons for individuals convicted of certain marijuana-related offenses. The pardon applies to United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who committed or were convicted of the offense of simple possession of marijuana, attempted simple possession of marijuana, or use of marijuana.

It’s unclear who this will affect, as individuals convicted under state and local laws aren’t under Federal jurisdiction.

This announcement, which follows Proclamation 10467 of October 6, 2022, seeks to alleviate the enduring consequences that convictions for simple possession of marijuana impose, such as hindrances to employment, housing, and educational opportunities.

The pardon covers individuals who were convicted under specific provisions, including section 844 of title 21, United States Code, section 846 of title 21, United States Code, relevant sections in the Code of the District of Columbia, and provisions in the Code of Federal Regulations regarding the possession or use of marijuana on federal properties or installations.

President Biden clarified that the pardon solely pertains to offenses concerning simple possession of marijuana, attempted simple possession of marijuana, or use of marijuana. It explicitly excludes other drug-related offenses such as possession with intent to distribute or driving under the influence of marijuana. Furthermore, the pardon does not extend to non-citizens who were not lawfully present in the United States at the time of their offense.

Eligible applicants can seek certificates of pardon through the Attorney General, following the procedures outlined in Proclamation 10467, which will be reviewed and issued accordingly.

The President, in reaffirming his commitment to mitigating the repercussions of certain marijuana-related convictions, signed this proclamation under the authority vested in Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution.

For more information regarding the pardon process and eligibility criteria, applicants are encouraged to refer to the procedures outlined in Proclamation 10467 or contact the Attorney General’s office.

The proclamation stands as a progressive step in addressing the long-standing implications of past marijuana-related convictions on individuals’ lives.

President Biden concluded the proclamation by setting his hand this twenty-second day of December in the year two thousand twenty-three, marking the two hundred and forty-eighth year of the Independence of the United States of America.

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