Many have been waiting for this announcement for months, and it is finally here. Read on for an overview of the application process for a Certificate of Pardon regarding marijuana convictions.
What is the marijuana pardon?
According to President Biden’s proclamation on October 6, 2022, persons convicted of federal and D.C. offenses of simple possession of marijuana are eligible to receive a pardon. President Biden declared that he would grant a “full, complete, and unconditional pardon” to United States Citizens who were convicted of simple marijuana possession. In his proclamation, President Biden specifies that the pardon applies only to simple possession of marijuana, and no other offenses or other controlled substances.
Moreover, the person applying for the pardon must have been a U.S. citizen and lawfully present in the United States at the time of their offense. Finally, President Biden sets forth guidelines for issuing and administering certificates of pardon to eligible applicants.
What is a Certificate of Pardon?
A Certificate of Pardon is documentation that a person has received a presidential pardon. The certificate serves as proof of the pardon under President Biden’s proclamation. It is the only documentation that a person will receive of the pardon.
Who can apply for the marijuana pardon certificate?
The proclamation granting pardon for simple marijuana possession offenses outlines certain eligibility requirements:
- The person must be a United States citizen lawfully present in the country at the time of their offense.
- The pardon is only for persons convicted of the offense of simple possession of marijuana under Federal law or D.C. Code 48-904.01(d)(1).
- The pardon does not apply to persons prosecuted under state laws.
- The pardon does not apply to any other controlled substances.
What is needed to apply for the marijuana pardon certificate?
The application requires an applicant to include the following information:
- Personal information such as name, address, email address, phone number, birthdate, place of birth, citizenship status, etc.
- Whether the applicant was charged or convicted of the offense.
- Which U.S. District Court or D.C. Superior Court heard the case
- The code section or statute of the charge or conviction.
- The docket number assigned to the case by the court.
- The application requests either of the following supporting documentation:
- The charging document, such as the indictment, complaint, or criminal information; or
- The judgment or the court docket sheet showing judgment, sentence, and date it was imposed.
- The Department of Justice provides links for obtaining information and documentation of a conviction. https://www.justice.gov/pardon/presidential-proclamation-marijuana-possession
How can a person apply for the marijuana pardon?
In order to apply for a Certificate of Pardon, an applicant should first ensure that they (and their offense) meet the eligibility requirements. Then, the applicant should gather the requisite information and documentation. Once the applicant is prepared, they should visit this website to submit their application. The website is the quickest way to submit an application for a Certificate of Pardon. Still, an applicant can download or print the request form and complete it by email or mail. A request may be submitted by the applicant or someone on the applicant’s behalf.
How does a pardon help?
A pardon is a Presidential expression of forgiveness to a person convicted of a crime. A pardon does not expunge or eliminate the conviction. However, a pardon does remove civil or legal limitations imposed because of conviction. Some of the restrictions that are lifted as a result of a pardon include the right to vote, hold office, and serve on a jury. A pardon may also help the applicant obtain employment, insurance, and licenses.
The process for applying for a marijuana pardon is a fairly easy one. Read through these guidelines and be sure to secure supplemental information and documentation in advance. This will ensure ease in completing a thorough application.