In a statement dated October 6th, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, pardoned all Americans convicted at the federal level of possessing marijuana. The President also ordered the Attorney General to develop an administrative process for the issuance of certificates of pardon to eligible individuals.

Driving the news 
The pardon by the US President sets free an estimate of about 6,500 people currently in prison just for possessing marijuana. 

  • No one is currently in federal prison just for carrying marijuana as these kinds of convictions occur more frequently at the state level.
  • This pardon is in line with one of the campaign promises of the President following his vow to decriminalize the use of cannabis. 

Why it matters 
The pardon removes the burden which has denied the people convicted of possessing marijuana from receiving employment, housing or educational opportunities. According to the plans listed by President Biden, he would ask the Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra to begin a review of how marijuana is scheduled as a drug under federal law.

What you should know 
Already, 20 states in the US, including the District of Columbia, have legalized the use of marijuana for non-medical purposes. The new law endorses licensed cannabis sellers to sell marijuana to adults 21years and more, starting from the 1st of December 2022. 

Also, adults can possess up to one ounce, keep up to 10 ounces of the product in their homes and cultivate up to three mature cannabis plants.

A report by Coresight Research disclosed that the marijuana market in the US is now worth about $64 billion. 

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