Is marijuana legal in U.S.? Biden’s pardons confuses the messy rules around pot

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President Joe Biden’s pardon of certain marijuana related crimes made headlines on Friday, however, a messy patchwork of state legislation means the vast majority of convictions remain unchanged.

Biden’s announcement on Friday expands on an earlier proclamation in October 2022, which pardoned people convicted of simple possession under federal law. It has been added to the crimes people can be pardoned for, which includes attempted simple possession and used on federal lands in Washington D.C. However, it does not apply to state level marijuana.

Biden has called on the governors to follow his lead and issue pardons to people convicted in similar court offences on state level.

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He said, “Just as no one should be in federal prison solely due to the use or possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason either.”