Posted: Thursday, October 6, 2022. 4:12 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: United States (US) President Joe Biden is moving to review US policy on marijuana and is pardoning thousands of persons who committed federal offenses for simple marijuana possession, according to Reuters.
“Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It’s time that we right these wrongs,” Biden said.
“Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either.”
According to President Biden, his pardon would relieve thousands of persons with federal convictions of ‘collateral’ consequences such as denial of employment, housing, and educational opportunities.
Biden said he had instructed US Attorney General Merrick Garland to establish an “administrative process” to issue pardons to those persons who qualify.
The Justice Department said it would expedite the President’s proclamation.
Biden’s statement has boosted shares of cannabis growers and sellers by more than 20%.
While several US states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use, it’s still illegal under federal law. Its declassification at the federal level could lead to US companies trading cannabis shares at stock exchanges like Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange. Plus, it could pave the way to major US banks to offer services to cannabis and cannabis-related businesses.
However, the US President said certain rules needed to stay in place.
“Even as federal and state regulation of marijuana changes, important limitations on trafficking, marketing, and under-age sales should stay in place,” said Biden.
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