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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Biden is applying for a federal cannabis pardon for the first time

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The Biden administration announced last week that it has launched a system that will allow individuals pardoned for federal cannabis possession convictions in 2022 to obtain written documentation of their pardons. In a statement released March 3, the Justice Department wrote that a new request is available to request written documentation of the pardon, which President Joseph Biden issued collectively on October 6, 2022. Advocates have praised the announcement as a step forward. For cannabis policy reform, including Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

“This is another small but critical step as the Biden administration adjusts to new cannabis realities and takes another step in the right direction,” Blumenauer said. he said in a statement Friday.

While campaigning for office ahead of the 2020 election, Biden pledged to end incarceration for federal cannabis possession convictions. The president made good on the promise late last year, announcing he was issuing an executive order pardoning all convictions for simple marijuana possession prosecuted under federal or Washington, D.C. municipal law. In a statement, the president said the move will help address the collateral damage of a federal drug conviction.

“As I have often said during my campaign for president, no one should be in jail simply for using or possessing marijuana,” Biden said. he said in a statement From the White House on Oct. 6, 2022. “Sending people to prison for possession of marijuana has upended many lives and imprisoned them for behavior that many states no longer prohibit. Criminal records for marijuana possession have also imposed undue barriers to employment, housing, and education opportunities. While using White, black and brown people marijuana at similar rates, black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted and convicted at disproportionate rates.”

when is announce In October’s federal pardons, Biden called on governors to take similar action at the state level. The president also directed the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to review the continued classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. According to the statute, the Schedule 1 designation is supposed to be reserved for drugs that have no medical value and a significant tendency to abuse.

The application is available online

the new Application form To document a federal cannabis pardon, information about the eligible offense and demographic data about the applicant is required. The application can be completed online, or a hard copy can be mailed to the Department of Justice, which has “committed to reviewing applications carefully and expeditiously and issuing certification to those pardoned under the proclamation.”

“Those Pardoned October 6, 2022, Eligible for a Certificate of Pardon,” Department of Justice wrote in a statement on March 3. According to the announcement, to be eligible for certification, the applicant must have been charged with or convicted of simply possession of marijuana in either federal or D.C. Superior Court, and the applicant must be legal within the United States at the time the crime was committed. Likewise, The individual must be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident on October 6, 2022.”

Natalie Papillion, COO of the Cannabis Justice Group Another prisoner projectHe said the new amnesty documentation process will ease the federal cannabis conviction burden. But she also noted that completing the application is not required to be granted a pardon under the President’s Executive Order.

“We are really encouraged to learn that the Department of Justice has officially launched the federal cannabis pardon certification process. Obtaining physical evidence of their pardons will undoubtedly help pardon recipients as they navigate a world unnecessarily hostile to cannabis offenders in Their criminal records.” Having said that, it would be irresponsible not to clear up a major misunderstanding about these pardons. President Biden’s marijuana pardons were self-effecting, meaning eligible individuals received them on October 6, 2022 — the date President Biden made the announcement. The recently launched application process is intended to help pardon recipients obtain physical proof of pardon, which can be useful when recipients are applying for jobs, housing, educational opportunities, etc.

Between 6,000 and 20,000 Americans will be able to apply for written evidence of a pardon for their federal conviction, according to information from the U.S. Sentencing Commission and Pardon Lawyers Office cited by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Biden’s pardon marks the first time a US president has used the power of the executive branch to provide legal relief to the cannabis community, according to a statement from the cannabis policy reform group.

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