In a recent announcement, the Biden Administration revealed a new set of pardons targeting low-level marijuana offenders. The pardons apply to individuals who violated federal and Washington, DC laws on marijuana possession, attempted possession, or use. The decision was made in recognition of the barriers that convictions for simple possession of marijuana can impose on employment, housing, and education opportunities.
President Joe Biden stated in the proclamation that his intention with these pardons is to address the unnecessary obstacles faced by individuals with convictions for simple possession of marijuana. The pardons do not extend to non-US citizens or individuals without federal permission. This move comes over a year after the president pardoned individuals who had committed the offense of simple possession of marijuana in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
It is worth noting that despite these recent pardons, the Biden Administration faced criticism earlier in his presidency for firing five staffers due to prior drug use, including marijuana. The administration's stance on marijuana use seemed to be inconsistent at the time, as it was reported that dozens of White House staffers had been disciplined for disclosing their past marijuana use.
Overall, the latest pardons targeting low-level marijuana offenders reflect the Biden Administration's recognition of the negative impacts that convictions for simple possession of marijuana can have on individuals' lives. By granting these pardons, the administration aims to address the barriers to employment, housing, and education that individuals with such convictions often face. However, it is important to note that the administration's handling of marijuana use among its own staff has been the subject of criticism and scrutiny.