Justice Department launches application to seek pardon for federal marijuana convictions
President Joe Biden pardoned those with prior federal convictions last year, but some complained the busts were still showing up on their records
The pardon only applies to those convicted in federal court, meaning those convicted at the state level are still stuck with a criminal record.
Those convicted in federal court of marijuana possession can now obtain documentation of their expunged record as part of President Joe Biden’s mass marijuana pardon announced last year, according to a U.S. Justice Dept. memo.
On Friday, the Justice Department officially launched the application form for Marijuana Pardon Certificates, allowing those with past federal marijuana possession convictions to have proof of their pardons. In theory, the certification will make it easier for those previously charged with possession to obtain housing, jobs and educational opportunities.
Last October, Biden signed a proclamation pardoning U.S. citizens convicted of marijuana possession before Oct. 6, 2022. However, advocates and those pardoned complained that even though their names had been cleared, their convictions still appeared on their criminal records.
Biden’s pardon only includes those with federal pot possession convictions. In other words, those convicted in state courts — including in Texas — aren’t eligible for a pardon.
Just the same, the decriminalization of marijuana in Texas continues to make gains. Over the past two years, voters in cities including Austin, San Marcos and Denton have voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.
Voters in San Antonio will also weigh in on a similar proposal known as the Justice Charter in the city’s May municipal elections, which would decriminalize possession of small amounts of weed.