President Joe Biden is planning to issue an executive order pardoning all people convicted of simple marijuana possession under federal law, senior administration officials said on Thursday, in what amounts to the most extensive White House action taken to date in U.S. drug policy.
The president will also be urging governors to do the same for cases regarding state offenses of civil possession of marijuana. In addition, he is asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to “expeditiously” review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.
Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I narcotic, meaning it’s deemed to have no medical use and a high potential for abuse. Heroin and LSD are other Schedule I drugs.
“The President has been clear that marijuana laws are not working,” said a senior administration official. “The president has been considering his options and he is now taking executive action.”