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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 22: President Joe Biden deliverers a

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

President Joe Biden announced on Friday, December 22, 2023, that he is issued a federal pardon including covering Washington D.C. offenses of simple possession of marijuana applying to all U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

Criminal records for marijuana use and possession have imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana.  It’s time that we right these wrongs – President Joe Biden

So what does that mean exactly?  Thousands of American citizens and lawful residents with federal and district marijuana convictions for their personal use and those convicted of similar federal crimes will be eligible for pardons.  However, this pardon does not benefit those who have been jailed for selling marijuana and or driving while under the influence of the illegal substance.

Pardons like this will help people with prior convictions to obtain jobs, housing, and other things that were once blocked due to their convictions.  Certificates stating that you’ve been pardoned can be obtained after an application process.  The Department of Justice will issue the certificates as proof of clemency for future applications.  To apply and get info click here.

President Biden posted more in-depth about the pardon on his Instagram account

As of the end of 2023, recreational marijuana is legal in 24 of the 50 states in the U.S. and in the District of Columbia.  Medical marijuana is also legal in 38 of the U.S. states.


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