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Last week the Justice Department (DOJ) released an application form for those who were eligible for President Joseph Biden’s mass cannabis pardon to complete to prove that they received clemency. Biden issued an executive order in October pardoning those convicted of marijuana possession offenses in violation of federal law.
Although the pardon was automatic, activists have pushed government representatives to create a form that can be used to request certificates proving coverage. This might be helpful for individuals whose previous convictions are, for instance, keeping them from finding employment or housing.
Elizabeth Oyer, the pardon attorney, had stated in December that the online applications would be available soon, but regrettably, nothing of the sort happened, and as the months went by, activists’ impatience grew.
Anyone who received a pardon on Oct. 6, 2022, is qualified to receive a certificate of pardon. A person must have been accused of or found guilty of simple possession of cannabis in a federal court to qualify for a certificate. The applicant must have been in the country legally when the offense was committed. In a similar vein, a person must have been a citizen or a legally recognized permanent resident of the United States on Oct. 6, 2022.
The form can be completed online or printed out and mailed in. It entails basic questions regarding a person’s federal marijuana offense qualification as well as location information. Additionally, applicants must present documentation of any prior charges or convictions.
According to a Federal Register draft notice released by the Pardon Attorney’s office, the data could also be leveraged to perform statistical analyses of the characteristics of pardon applicants and recipients. The application is simple and takes about 10 to 30 minutes to complete. It includes instructions to follow, one page to fill out, and a page for appending the applicant’s signature.
The Congressional Marijuana Caucus’ cochair, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), praised the application launch, stating that it was another positive move in President Biden’s administration in accepting the new marijuana realities.
The scope of Biden’s pardon declaration was fairly constrained; it didn’t release any person who is at the moment behind bars and did not include individuals who were found guilty of selling marijuana.
The office of the Pardon Attorney anticipates receiving close to 20,000 applications for certificates once the form receives final approval from the White House Office of Budget and Management. The draft will be open for public comment for 30 days.
The launch of this pardon certificate application is a welcome development that advocates and industry actors such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) are likely to applaud, given its potential to fix some of the lasting adverse effects of prohibition upon those with minor cannabis convictions on their records.
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