On October 6th, 2022, President Biden made a historic move by issuing a mass pardon for those with federal charges for simple marijuana possession. But here’s the catch – this only scratches the surface of the issue. While approximately 6,500 individuals were pardoned, countless others with charges beyond simple possession continue to bear the heavy weight of their convictions.
The New York Times estimates that the majority of federal charges are not for mere possession but for intent to distribute or other layered charges. These individuals, too, deserve to be free from the lifelong burden of a marijuana-related record. Such convictions hinder opportunities in employment, housing, voting rights, professional licensing, and student aid.
President Biden’s actions, while commendable, must go further. He branded his pardons as “Ending our Failed Approach to Marijuana.” But if we truly seek to end this failed approach, we must address the charges that affect more than just those with simple possession.
Together, we have the power to drive change and reshape the narrative around cannabis legalization.
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 The New York Times: Biden Pardons Thousands Convicted of Marijuana Possession Under Federal Law