Washington, D.C. – In response to President Biden today announcing that he will pardon all simple federal marijuana possession charges and urge Governors to take similar actions at the state level, Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement:
“We are thrilled to see President Biden holding true to his commitment to pardon every person with simple marijuana possession charges at the federal level, including people in D.C. And we are further encouraged by his efforts to get Governors to take similar actions at the state level. This is incredibly long overdue. There is no reason that people should be saddled with a criminal record—preventing them from obtaining employment, housing, and countless other opportunities—for something that is already legal in 19 states and D.C. and decriminalized in 31 states.
We, however, hope that the Biden Administration will go further and fully deschedule marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), rather than initiate a process that could lead to rescheduling. Keeping marijuana on the federal drug schedule will mean people will continue to face criminal charges for marijuana. It also means that research will continue to be inhibited and state-level markets will be at odds with federal law. We urge the President to support the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, introduced in the Senate earlier this year, which would fully remove marijuana from the CSA, provide expungement and resentencing for past marijuana convictions beyond simple possession, and comprehensively repair the harms of marijuana criminalization.”