Joe Biden Announces Expunging All Federal Convictions for Simple Cannabis Possession

US President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he would expunge all federal convictions for simple possession of cannabis.

“No one should be jailed for the simple act of using or possessing cannabis,” he said on Twitter, calling on state governors to follow this path and pardon those convicted of a simple cannabis possession crime.

The president also called on the health and judicial authorities to rethink the penalties associated with marijuana, while the movement for its decriminalization finds strong support in the United States. Joe Biden, however, insisted on the importance of continuing the fight against the trafficking and sale of cannabis to minors. These new measures also aim to rectify criminal proceedings that disproportionately affect ethnic minorities, justified the president.

Record consumption among young Americans

Nineteen of the 50 American states, as well as the capital Washington, have legalized recreational cannabis use for adults.

In most states, its medicinal use is authorized in different degrees, from oils that contain a low level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive principle of cannabis) to pure marijuana. Only a handful of ultraconservative and rural states, such as Idaho, Wyoming or Nebraska, remain uncompromising.

Interestingly, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Joe Biden’s announcement on Thursday, however, symbolizes a first step toward his reclassification. Marijuana use among young Americans reached record levels last year, according to a new study.

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