Inbox: Justice Department Finally Announces Application For Marijuana Pardons

“The President’s pardon lifts barriers to housing, employment and educational opportunities for thousands of people with those prior convictions.”

It’s usually more helpful and fun to skewer government press releases than it is to just run them as-is, but in this case, there will likely be plenty of criticism after the program to pardon people with federal cannabis convictions turns out to be disappointing in some way or another. (Already, just so you don’t get your hopes up, “those who were convicted of state marijuana offenses do not qualify for the pardon.”)

For now though, we’ll just walk you through the latest. Here’s what the feds published on Friday:

Today, the Justice Department is launching an application for eligible individuals to receive certificate [sic] of proof that they were pardoned under the Oct. 6, 2022, proclamation by President Biden. On Oct. 6, 2022, the President announced a full, unconditional and categorical pardon for prior federal and D.C. offenses of simple possession of marijuana. The President’s pardon lifts barriers to housing, employment and educational opportunities for thousands of people with those prior convictions. President Biden directed the Justice Department to develop a process for individuals to receive their certificate of pardon.

Basically, those who meet the criteria outlined at the above link—among them: “an applicant must have been charged or convicted of simple possession of marijuana in either a federal court or D.C. Superior Court,” and “the applicant must have been lawfully within the United States at the time of the offense”—can proceed as follows:

The online application will be available on the Office of the Pardon Attorney’s website: Application for Certificate of Pardon. The web form allows eligible persons to submit documentation to the Office of the Pardon Attorney and receive a certificate indicating the person was pardoned on Oct. 6, 2022, for simple possession of marijuana.

More from the DOJ below:

The President’s pardon, effective Oct. 6, 2022, may assist pardoned persons by removing civil or legal disabilities — such as restrictions on the right to vote, to hold office or to sit on a jury — that are imposed because of the pardoned conviction. The application released today may also be helpful as proof of pardon for those who seek to obtain licenses, bonding or employment. As President Biden said at the time of the proclamation, his action intends to “help relieve the consequences arising from these convictions.”  

Additional information at Presidential Proclamation on Marijuana Possession.