President Biden Issues Proclamation Saying “My Administration Has Taken Historic Steps to End America’s Failed Approach to Marijuana”

President Biden has issued “A Proclamation on Second Chance Month, 2024″, saying “my Administration has taken historic steps to end America’s failed approach to marijuana.”

(Photo credit: Reuters).

“America was founded on the promise of new beginnings”, states the proclamation, issued today.  “During Second Chance Month, we recommit to building a criminal justice system that lives up to those ideals so that people returning to their communities from jail or prison have a fair shot at the American Dream.”

As part of the proclamation, President Biden says “my Administration has taken historic steps to end America’s failed approach to marijuana.  Incarceration for marijuana possession alone has destroyed too many lives, particularly for Black and brown Americans, who have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at higher rates than other racial and ethnic groups.”

Biden points out that “In 2022, I asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to start formally reviewing how marijuana is scheduled under Federal law.  I have issued categorical pardons for people convicted for simple possession and use under Federal and D.C. law while urging governors to do the same on the State level. ”

Biden says “It is simple:  No one should be in jail or prison for using or possessing marijuana alone.”

Biden concludes by stating:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2024 as Second Chance Month.  I call upon government officials, educators, volunteers, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.

Currently the DEA is conducting a review of marijuana’s scheduling status, with the Department of Health recommending it be moved from Schedule I to Schedule III. For an updated timeline of the DEA’s marijuana review, click here. For a look at the four states on track to legalize marijuana by December, click here.

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