President Biden announced Thursday that he will pardon everyone with a prior federal conviction of simple possession of marijuana and order DHS to review the drug’s current status as a Schedule I narcotic.
“I am announcing a pardon of all prior Federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana,” Biden said in a statement. “No one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana.”
There are currently zero people in federal prison solely for the crime of simple marijuana possession. In fact, all 6,500 people that will receive a pardon are not currently in federal custody.
The president then urged governors to do the same thing for state-level marijuana offenses.
“Just as no one should be in a Federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either,” Biden said.
The White House is also asking Health and Human Services and the U.S. Attorney General to review marijuana’s status as a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act, but said that limitations on trafficking, marketing, and under-age sales should stay as they are.