President Joe Biden on Thursday said he will pardon all prior federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana, and asked U.S. agencies to review how the drug is classified.
“There are thousands of people who have prior federal convictions for marijuana possession, who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result,” Biden said in a statement.
“My action will help relieve the collateral consequences arising from these convictions.”
Biden said he is urging governors to take the same step, and that he is asking the attorney general and secretary of health and human services to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law. Marijuana
is now in the same category as heroin and LSD.
Cannabis stocks jumped sharply on the announcement, which comes as Democrats are facing a tough midterm-election environment.
Shares of Canopy Growth Corp.
jumped 11% in afternoon trading, while Tilray Brands Inc.
shares climbed more than 22% and Aurora Cannabis Inc.
shares rose 6%.