KEY POINTS
  • President Joe Biden pardoned all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession.
  • The pardons also apply to anyone in the District of Columbia convicted of simple possession of marijuana.
  • Biden has also instructed Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to begin reviewing how marijuana is classified under federal drug laws.
 

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden pardoned all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession, the White House announced Thursday.

The pardons also apply to anyone in the District of Columbia convicted of simple possession of marijuana, a senior administration official told reporters.

 

More than 6,500 individuals with prior convictions for simple marijuana possession will be impacted by the pardons, said the official, and thousands more will be pardoned under D.C. law.

“There are thousands of people who were convicted for marijuana possession who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result,” Biden said in a statement. “My pardon will remove this burden on them.”

In addition to the pardons, Biden said he had instructed Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to begin reviewing how marijuana is classified under federal drug laws.

“The federal government currently classifies marijuana as a “schedule one” substance, the same as heroin and LSD – and more serious than fentanyl,” said Biden. “It makes no sense.”

Pot stocks Tilray Brands and Canopy Growth each jumped on the news, up roughly 10% and 5%, respectively, in afternoon trading.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.