US President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he would lift all federal convictions for simple possession of cannabis.
“Nobody should be jailed for using or possessing cannabis,” he said on Twitter, urging state governors to follow this path and pardon those convicted of simple cannabis possession.
The president also urged health and justice officials to reconsider marijuana-related penalties, amid strong support for its decriminalization movement in the United States. However, Joe Biden stressed the importance of continuing the fight against the trafficking and sale of cannabis to minors. These new measures also aim to correct criminal cases that disproportionately affect ethnic minorities, the President reasoned.
Record consumption among young Americans
Nineteen of the 50 American states and the capital Washington have legalized the recreational use of cannabis by adults.
In most states, its medicinal use is authorized to varying degrees, from oils with a low THC content (tetrahydrocannabinol, psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) to pure marijuana. Only a handful of ultraconservative and rural states like Idaho, Wyoming or Nebraska remain unyielding.
Curiously, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. However, Joe Biden’s announcement on Thursday symbolizes a first step towards his reclassification. According to a recent study, marijuana use among young Americans hit record highs last year.