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On Thursday, October 6, President Biden made the landmark decision to pardon low-level cannabis crimes across the country, sparking change that this country has needed for decades.

But, this choice has led to so many questions: Is cannabis legal now? Can Biden deschedule marijuana? What does this federal cannabis news mean for those in prison for marijuana crimes? 

Here, we’re breaking down Biden’s pardoning, who it affects, and what it means for federal cannabis laws across the country. Let’s get right into this surprising yet remarkable decision. 

What Does This Mean? 

It’s no secret that the cannabis industry has disproportionately favored white Americans while simultaneously punishing Black and brown Americans for the same consumption. In fact, statistics show that Black residents are about four times more likely to get arrested for cannabis possession than white residents. Because of the influx of cannabis arrests since the 70s, nearly half of all drug busts are for, you guessed it, marijuana.

Thankfully, Biden’s pardoning may finally help change this.

The President announced that he was working toward pardoning federal offenses of simple cannabis possession crimes. It’s important to note that “simple” possession refers to low-level cannabis crimes, not drug distribution or sales.

It’s reported that around 6,500 people were convicted for simple cannabis possession between the years 1992 and 2021. 

Those affected would have their previous, current, or not-yet-prosecuted marijuana crimes pardoned under this new act. This would allow Americans to no longer be hindered by previous “crimes” when wanting to apply for jobs, homes, credit cards, and such. Unfortunately, there’s a pretty glaring problem here.

Currently, there is nobody facing federal charges for simple cannabis possession only, and this is federal cannabis news. Instead, most of those affected by simple cannabis charges are at the state level, and, thus, won’t get pardoned. 

However, Biden has called to extend the pardons to the state level by asking governors to do the same. This would allow those in the states who have extended the pardons to have their crimes forgiven, and this would be a monumental step in reversing the harm the War on Drugs has caused. 

So, if you can’t get arrested for simple cannabis possession at the federal level, does this mean that cannabis is legal now? Did Biden legalize marijuana?

Sadly, no. It would never be that easy.

Thankfully, Biden’s agenda does have cannabis decriminalization on it, and that is an ultimate goal for the administration (supposedly). 

For right now, this decision doesn’t affect the overall legality of cannabis and cannabis products. Instead, it simply protects you from getting charged federally for low-level cannabis possession. So, you won’t be sent to federal prison for a few joints, essentially.

You can see why this federal cannabis news is huge, but also where it needs more work. Right now, the move is a great first step, but bigger steps have to follow in order for this decision to make the impact that it needs. 

As more and more states legalize cannabis — especially this upcoming election season — we will continue to see support for federal cannabis legalization, or at least decriminalization. And we can only hope that the Biden administration sees this, too. 

The Future & Biden’s Stance on Cannabis 

As we’ve mentioned, this landmark decision is a great first step toward restorative justice; however, it’s only the beginning. Now, it’s important for these laws to come down to the state level, where most of those afflicted are. 

President Biden has also called to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law. While it’s unlikely this classification will change, it’s crucial for the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to re-analyze it. 

If changed, this would help grant more cannabis research and allow medical professionals to recommend MMJ if they felt it could be beneficial. 

In the past, President Biden hasn’t had the best stance on cannabis. And, for a while, it seemed unlikely that he would tackle this issue. But, now, we have something to look forward to, and we can only hope that this sparks the change our communities need to reach social equity and equality in the cannabis sphere. 

Get the Most Out of Your Marijuana With an MMJ Card

While cannabis continues to stay in this gray area, medical marijuana stays being the one thing you can rely on. In states where medical marijuana is legal, having an MMJ card is the best way to stay safe, secure, and on the right side of the law — even while all of this federal cannabis news emerges.

And, here at Elevate Holistics, we can make that process absolutely seamless.

Our telehealth team can help you get your medical card recommendation right from home. Through our online appointments and expert cannabis doctors, you’re able to get your MMJ card recommendation in only a few days’ time. 

Even if you live in a state where marijuana is recreationally legal, getting your MMJ card helps you save money, have priority, and potentially gain access to more, stronger cannabis products than recreational consumers enjoy. Interested?

Simply click here to book an appointment to get your medical marijuana card and learn firsthand the benefits that this little card can bring — even in this ever-changing world of weed. 

 

To stay up-to-date on all federal cannabis news and more, check out our blog or sign up for our newsletter.

Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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