The True Number of People Freed from Prison by Biden’s Marijuana Pardon May Surprise You

On Oct 6, President Biden issued  “A Proclamation on Granting Pardon for the Offense of Simple Possession of Marijuana“. This is a blanket pardon for anyone who was convicted of simple possession of marijuana under federal law.

While many people from all sides of the political spectrum applauded this move, it is important to look at the actual impact it had, specifically, how many people were freed from prison.

The answer: Exactly ZERO.

According to the White House and a report from the U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) there is no one currently in federal custody for simple possession of marijuana.

This is because the pardon only applies to federal marijuana possession offenses.  Most offenses are handled by local law enforcement.  Offenses are under federal jurisdiction only in specific circumstances like when the offense occurs in federally controlled lands like National Parks and borders or when interstate travel is involved.  Even then, federal agencies are focused on going after larger drug enterprises rather than a single person.  And even on the occasions when simple marijuana possession was prosecuted and involved prison time, the sentences averaged about 6 months.

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *