Anyone who has tracked the federal government’s relationship to marijuana over the past few decades will undoubtedly notice a gradual interest in the decriminalization and legalization of many types of cannabis products, marijuana products just one among them.
In the past few years, one of the biggest steps forward was the U.S. Farm Bill, approved by Congress in 2018, which made it federally legal to sell hemp-derived Delta 8 and Delta 9 products.
This is certainly significant, because both Delta 8 and Delta 9 products are known for their psychoactive effects that are similar to marijuana products, making them popular among consumers in states where marijuana is not yet legal.
Another major step has been made recently, in that President Joe Biden has decided to grant pardons to many people who have run into trouble with the law because of marijuana possession.
Details of the Pardon—Including Who Is and Is Not Eligible
Thousands of people, with estimates of over 6500 people, with prior federal convictions for marijuana possession will be pardoned.
This can help undo some of the issues that many of those convicted of marijuana possession, such as job prospects, housing opportunities, and other consequences that can be lifelong due to marijuana possession.
This pardon will help reduce that damage for many people. However, not everyone who has been federally convicted of marijuana possession will be eligible for the pardon.
For one, this only covers “simple possession” of marijuana, which basically means only people who had marijuana on their person with only the intention to consume or use it.
In other words, drug dealers do not qualify for these pardons.
Additionally, people who were undocumented immigrants at the time of the offense are not covered.
Also, people can still be charged for simple marijuana possession after the date of the pardon’s announcement (October 6, 2022).
Lastly, people who were caught with other illegal substances, such as cocaine, along with marijuana, do not qualify.
Next Steps: Reviewing How Marijuana Is Classified
Something else that Biden announced, in addition to the pardons, is that marijuana will likely soon be under review for a new classification, which can mean many things.
What this could possibly mean is less severe punishments for simple marijuana possession, which could lead to a federal legalization down the line.
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