Skip to content

President Biden Offers Marijuana Pardons

On October 6, 2022, President Biden granted pardons to all those convicted of simple marijuana possession under federal law.  Also, he called on HHS Secretary Becerra and Attorney General Garland to “expeditiously” review marijuana’s classification under federal law as a Schedule I narcotic, meaning it’s deemed to have no medical use and a high potential for abuse. The immediate practical impact maybe limited because most people in federal prison for cannabis-related offenses have not been sentenced with minor or nonviolent crimes, but it will impact people, who have prior records.  Also, it introduces a more science-based approach to U.S. drug policy, said Rahul Gupta, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “It is clear that our current marijuana laws have not worked, and that we need a new approach that balances science with criminal justice reform efforts.”