First of all, we apologize for the insanely clickbait title here. We promise, this is definitely not clickbait. In fact, this little piece is so not clickbait that if you were to google "President Biden Pardons Marijuana Prisoners" you'll see that this is something that JUST HAPPENED and, for obvious reasons, THIS IS A BIG DEAL! Here's why.
After a very normal emotional response to such a momentous announcement, we can confidently report on the matter. President Biden announced that he will pardon all federal prisoners for simple cannabis possession charges. In addition to that, he's calling on all state governors to do the same for everyone held in state and county prisons and jails.
The President calls on the Federal Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to begin the process of rescheduling marijuana under federal law.
What does this all mean? Well, let's break it down.
1) PRISONERS ARE RELEASED FROM FEDERAL PRISON
"No one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana." The President said that. A sitting, U.S. President, quite literally the most powerful person on Earth just openly stated that the people currently serving time for holding some miniscule amount of bud is to be released.
2) U.S. STATE & LOCAL COUNTY PRISONS SHOULD DO THE SAME
There are currently 39 of the 50 states with access to legal, medical marijuana. Nineteen of those states fully legalize the use and possession of it. That's a whopping 78% of the country that has access to our favorite plant. Yet while these states have opened up access, those that were caught during a time where it was very very illegal to have even the smallest amount on you, ends up being treated like a violent criminal.
While the Federal Prison system is now working to release its low-level marijuana offenders, this ultimately doesn't mean much if the individual states fail to get behind this.
3) BEGIN THE PROCESS TO RE-CLASSIFY MARIJUANA AS A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
As earth-shattering as releasing tens of thousands of inmates, removing marijuana from the Federal Controlled Substances List is quite possibly the most earth-shattering aspect of President Biden's afternoon address. Marijuana was initially added to the Controlled Substances List in 1970 as a Schedule I. This means that the simple possession and use is treated as if you are possessing and/or using significantly more harmful substances such as fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin.
Let's be clear, however, this does not mean that once marijuana is removed off the Controlled Substances List, that weed is legal nationwide. This at least begins the process towards coast-to-coast legalization.
THIS IS HUGE!
If you remember back in 2020, when Bernie Sanders was running in the Democratic primaries, one of his main campaign promises was to begin the process towards full-on legalization of marijuana. While our favorite Vermont Congressman ceded victory to Biden, the man-in-charge took up his cause and ran it anyways.
As we mentioned above, nearly 80% of the country supports legalization. And even in the states where adult-use cannabis is still a vote a way on an upcoming ballot, the rhetoric coming from the White House has drastically changed over the last few years. See? We are now THIS MUCH CLOSER to finally living out our dream of seeing cannabis legalized nationwide. Good job Mr. President. There is still much work to be done, but it can be achieved as long as we do it together.