October 7, 2022

Yesterday, at 4:20 p.m., President Joe Biden pardoned thousands of people convicted under federal law of marijuana possession -- and also said his administration would begin a review of whether marijuana should still be in the same legal category as drugs like heroin. Via the New York Times:

The pardons will clear everyone convicted on federal charges of simple possession since it became a crime in the 1970s. Officials said full data was not available but noted that about 6,500 people were convicted of simple possession between 1992 and 2021, not counting legal permanent residents. The pardons will also affect people who were convicted under District of Columbia drug laws; officials estimated that number to be in the thousands.

The pardons will not apply to people convicted of selling or distributing marijuana. And officials said there are no people now serving time in federal prisons solely for marijuana possession. But the move will help remove obstacles for people trying to get a job, find housing, apply to college or get federal benefits.

Mr. Biden urged governors to follow his lead for people convicted on state charges of simple possession, who vastly outnumber those charged under federal laws.

John Fetterman lobbied Biden on the issue last month:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who started his PA Marijuana Pardon Project September 1st, supported the move:

Twitter fired up the meme machine, labeling Biden "Dank Brandon":

Can't wait to see how this will eventually dismantle the absurdly consumer-unfriendly medical marijuana machine in my own state!

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