November 30, 2022

Volume XII, Number 334

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November 30, 2022

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BREAKING NEWS: Biden to Pardon Federal Marijuana Possession Convictions

In a historic move, today, President Joe Biden announced a three-step program to bring broad changes to federal cannabis policy. As an initial step towards reform, President Biden will pardon all federal offenders convicted of simple marijuana possession. According to administration officials, the pardons will be issued through an administration process overseen by the Department of Justice. Those eligible for the pardons will receive documentation showing they were officially forgiven for their crime.

“No one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana,” Biden said in a video announcing his executive actions. “It’s legal in many states, and criminal records for marijuana possession have led to needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. And that’s before you address the racial disparities around who suffers the consequences. While white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people are arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.”

“Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It’s time that we right these wrongs,” the President said.

As a second step in the program, Biden also encouraged Governors to take similar steps to pardon state simple cannabis possession charges.

And as the last step in this program, President Biden directed the Department of Health and Human Services and Attorney General Merrick Garland to “expeditiously” review the cannabis’s status as a Schedule I controlled drug pursuant to the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Copyright © 2022, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 279
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About this Author

Sarah A. K. Blitz Sheppard Mullin Cannabis Food and Beverage Social Media and Games
Associate

Sarah Blitz is an associate in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office. She is the leader of the firm’s Cannabis industry team and a member of the firm’s Food and Beverage industry and Product Liability teams. 

Areas of Practice

Sarah specializes in commercial and business litigation. Her practice entails matters in state and federal court, including business torts, products liability, professional liability, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties and allegations of unfair business practice and fraud.

Sarah also...

213-620-1780
Whitney Hodges, Attorney, Sheppard Mullin, Real Estate, Natural Resources
Associate

Whitney Hodges is an associate in the Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources practice group in the firm's San Diego office.  She also serves on the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Recruiting Committee, and the Latin Business Team.

Areas of Practice

Ms. Hodges's practice focuses on general business litigation with an emphasis on land use litigation, real estate litigation, business torts/contracts, intellectual property, and litigation involving internet usage.  Ms. Hodges handles all aspects of litigation, including administrative, trial...

714-424-8257
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