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In USA, there are many controversial ideas emerged related to legalizing Cannabis. In the historical overview of legalizing Cannabis, it was mentioned that Cannabis is effective methods for many psychological and mental relief and this was used for indigenous therapy treatment also. However, since Cannabis including Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it was found that it negatively affects to physical and mental health. Since THC in Marijuana is a psychoactive substance, it can also lead to central nervous system depression. Therefore, smoking Marijuana creates many social, health and other society related problems in USA. With smoking and using is illegal for people in USA, those who used or possessed Marijuana was punished or jailed. Proportionately, Black people were jailed than White people, though both were using or possessing same amount of Marijuana. Therefore, it could be seen an inequality way of punishment for offenses of possessing Marijuana.
In the mid of these discourses, on 6th of October, 2022, Biden has pardoned Marijuana offenses, and according to his decision, the pardon will affect for around 6,500 people convicted of simple possession of marijuana from 1992-2021. However, it will not affect some 3,000 people convicted of higher-level marijuana crimes who remain in federal prisons. And also, under that pardon, Biden advised for US administration to urge to take similar actions for state offenses of civil possession of marijuana. Through that decision, Biden wanted to address the issue of war on drug which has affected badly to Black people in USA. And also, Biden introduced new Act of federal Controlled Substances Act to review Marijuana and reschedule of Marijuana.
When considering on the background of pardon of Marijuana’s offenses, Biden has told that Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has overturned many lives and imprisoned people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit. The impact of pardon is very significant since it creates huge differences of black people and it has directly affected to focus on poverty and race issues between White people and Black people in USA. Further, Biden has stressed that criminal record for Marijuana possessions also became a challenge or obstacle for many societal factors such as education, employment, housing and other infrastructure facilities. Therefore, changing drug policies under Biden with giving pardon for offenses can be identified as a racial justice in USA.
With Biden’s decision, there is a clue what will happen next in USA. Some has argued that this decision will make a difference for Black people in USA while some are arguing that States of USA will ignore the policy change which Biden implemented. It is said that though Biden’s decision of pardon of offenses under federal Marijuana possession law is a good faith and humanitarian action for Black people, it will be a limited step in reforming Cannabis policy in USA. However, in the current situation, Marijuana is fully legal in 19 U.S. states and most states that have legalized marijuana have also moved to remove the records of nonviolent offenders or issue pardons after the decision of Biden.