The Biden administration has recently established an executive order that is believed to be a part of the steps being taken to decriminalize cannabis. Recently, President Biden announced that he is planning to pardon thousands of people who were convicted due to possessing cannabis. While this pardon affects United States citizens, non-citizens are excluded from the order.
In his statement, President Joe Biden discusses how by issuing this proclamation, he intends to pardon only the offense of simple marijuana possession committed in violation of federal law or D.C. Code 48-904.01(d)(1), but he is not pardoning any additional marijuana- or other controlled-substance-related offenses. However, non-citizens who were unlawfully present in the country at the time of their violation are not eligible for this pardon.
In response to the statement put out by the Biden administration, immigration activists said that because undocumented immigrants were not included in the pardon and marijuana remains illegal, non-citizens can still be imprisoned or deported for possessing the substance. These activists urge congress to pass immigration legislation that takes into account the changing condition of cannabis laws. As of right now, cannabis possession is a deportable offense, and if an undocumented immigrant is caught using marijuana, selling it, or possessing it even in a state where it is legal that immigrant can be denied further access into the country.