- Bailey Porras
News Alert! Biden’s Marijuana Pardon
If you haven’t heard, President Joe Biden recently announced a pardon for simple marijuana possession. This is good news and a step towards marijuana reform in the U.S. Here is everything you need to know!
Just this last week, the President announced he is issuing unconditional pardons to thousands convicted of marijuana possession. In addition to the pardons, his administration will begin reviewing the consideration of marijuana as a schedule I drug.
What Is a Schedule I Drug?
When the government determines a drug has no medicinal use and is highly addictive, it is classified as a schedule I drug. This is ironic, as two thirds of Americans currently support the legalization of marijuana, and there are hundreds of thousands of testimonials for marijuana’s medicinal benefits. Nevertheless, marijuana is still listed as a schedule I substance aside drugs like heroin and LSD.
Simple possession of marijuana is when a person has a small amount of marijuana in their possession with no intent to sell or distribute it. Also, to be classified as simple possession, it cannot be connected with any other crime.
Biden’s pardons will apply to everyone convicted on the federal level of simple possession of marijuana since the 1970’s. Data shows that about 6,500 people have been convicted of these charges since the 1990’s alone.
The pardon will also clear people convicted for simple possession under the laws of the District of Columbia. However, convictions of sale, distribution, conspiracy, or intent to distribute marijuana will not be pardoned.
State vs Federal Convictions
Each state determines whether marijuana is legal medically or recreationally, but all 50 states have federal property. So, people arrested on federal property can face federal possession charges, regardless of their state’s marijuana legalization status.
How Many People Will Be Released From Prison?
There are no people currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana possession alone, so nobody will be released. The majority of convictions for marijuana happen at the state level.
To supplement this, Biden has urged governors to issue pardons in their states. This doesn’t mean much, since most states already legalized simple possession and many do not prosecute those cases anymore.
Furthermore, simple possession convictions very rarely results in a long jail sentence.
To clarify, simple possession convictions will not be expunged from people’s records; a pardon only means that they are forgiven for their crime.
Those convicted may have lost their right to sit in on a jury, hold office, and vote, so the pardon may help people with a prior conviction gain back these rights.
When Will Marijuana Be Legalized in the United States?
Biden’s pardon is a huge step in the right direction for marijuana advocates across the country, but it does not mean marijuana will be legalized any time soon. Federal legalization falls more directly on Congress and will take some tome.
Biden calling for the re-evaluation of marijuana as a schedule I substance is another huge step in the right direction and a sign of progress for cannabis legalization.
Get Access to Medical Marijuana Today!
Although it might be a while until marijuana is legalized at the federal level, you can access cannabis now in the state of Virginia! In order to do this, you will just need your Virginia medical marijuana card.
If you think marijuana may be right for you, now is the best time to get started! Medical marijuana dispensaries are home to many great, safe products for natural relief.
Better yet, schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today to see if you qualify!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness
safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on
education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by
providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Virginia!