US president Joe Biden introduced a pardon for hundreds of individuals convicted for possession of marijuana beneath federal legislation
6 October 2022
On 6 October, US president Joe Biden introduced plans to reform US marijuana coverage, together with issuing a pardon of all prior federal offenses of straightforward marijuana possession – and calling on state governors to do the identical.
“Simply as nobody must be in a federal jail solely as a result of possession of marijuana, nobody must be in an area jail or state jail for that purpose, both,” stated Biden in a press release launched by the White Home. His pardon applies to hundreds of individuals charged with marijuana possession beneath federal legislation.
He additionally referred to as upon the US legal professional common Merrick Garland and US secretary of well being and human providers Xavier Becerra to judge how marijuana is assessed beneath US federal legislation. Underneath present legal guidelines it’s within the class reserved for essentially the most harmful substances.
The usage of medical marijuana is at the moment authorized in 37 US states and Washington, DC, and 19 states permit adults to buy hashish for leisure use. But regardless of this, many individuals stay incarcerated for easy possession of hashish.
Even after launch, felony data for marijuana possession impose “pointless limitations to employment, housing, and academic alternatives,” stated Biden within the assertion. He additionally famous that regardless of related marijuana consumption amongst completely different races and ethnic teams, “Black and brown folks have been arrested, prosecuted and convicted at disproportionate charges”.
Certainly, a number of research help this statement. Knowledge from 2018, for example, reveals that greater than 53 per cent of white folks over age 18 within the US report utilizing hashish sooner or later of their lives in comparison with 45 per cent of Black folks. But Black persons are 3.6 instances extra possible to be arrested for possession.
In June, the American Medical Affiliation (AMA) issued a press release calling on states to expunge felony marijuana fees from folks’s data when the associated offenses had been later legalised.
“It merely isn’t truthful to smash a life primarily based on actions that lead to convictions however are subsequently legalised or decriminalized,” stated AMA spokesperson Scott Ferguson on the time.
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