What Does President Biden’s Pardon for Marijuana Offenders Mean?

Many Americans with federal marijuana convictions on their records may soon have their civil liberties restored thanks to President Biden’s marijuana pardon. But what does the Biden marijuana pardon mean? Who do Biden’s pardons affect? Keep reading to learn the answers to those questions from the Law Office of Joel M. Mann, and contact our office if you need a free case review. 

President Biden’s Marijuana Pardon

On October 6, 2022, President Joe Biden announced a plan to pardon U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents with convictions for simple possession of marijuana. The presidential order applies only to federal convictions, including D.C. Code offenses, not convictions under local or state law. It applies to qualifying crimes occurring on or before October 6, 2022 including those that have not yet resulted in a conviction.

Biden’s pardons don’t apply to crimes other than the simple possession of marijuana. For instance, a charge or conviction for more serious marijuana-related offenses, such as marijuana trafficking, does not qualify. The pardon does not apply to individuals convicted of simple marijuana possession at the state level or who weren’t legally in the U.S. when they committed the crime.

What Is Simple Marijuana Possession?

Nevada state law allows adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use. Marijuana may be used only within private residences or licensed social venues. However, possession of marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. 

An individual may face state charges of simple possession of marijuana if they possess more than one ounce of marijuana. Possession can mean the marijuana is actually on someone’s person, such as in a pocket or purse, or that the person had access to the marijuana, such as a passenger in a car where the police find drugs.

What Does It Mean to Be Pardoned?

A pardon is forgiveness by the President or Governor for a criminal offense. Once an individual is pardoned, the government can no longer punish them for the forgiven crime. If you qualify for a pardon for simple marijuana possession, you do not receive an automatic expungement of the conviction or arrest. However, it may restore your civil liberties, such as your:

  • Right to vote
  • Right to possess firearms
  • Right to run for and hold public office
  • Right to serve on a jury

How and When Can You Apply for a Certificate of Pardon?

The Attorney General acting through the Pardon Attorney will issue certificates to establish proof of pardon. The Office of the Pardon Attorney is developing procedures for applying for a certificate of pardon. The application form and instructions will soon be available to eligible individuals on the U.S. Department of Justice website.

In Nevada, you can apply for a pardon through the Executive Secretary of the Pardons Board. The Nevada Pardons Board is made up of the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Justices of the Nevada Supreme Court. 

How Can a Marijuana Defense Lawyer Help?

When you hire a marijuana defense lawyer from the Law Office of Joel M. Mann, you can count on us to defend your rights vigorously and protect your freedom. If you were arrested for marijuana charges in Las Vegas, contact our office today for a free, confidential consultation.