President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Democratic National Committee Headquarters, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Biden released a video statement via Twitter on October 6th stating that he would be pardoning all Americans convicted of simple marijuana possession. 

The pardons will affect people convicted on federal charges since it became illegal in the 1970’s. More than 6,500 Americans convicted of simple marijuana possession in the past and as of now were pardoned due to this. 

On Twitter, Biden called on the country’s governors to follow suit and pardon those convicted on state charges of simple possession:

“I'm calling on governors to pardon simple state marijuana possession offenses. Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely for possessing marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either."

What does this mean for Tennessee residents?

Jade Byers, a spokesperson for Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, said Lee is “not considering” pardoning marijuana charges at the state level.

Additionally, Biden is calling on his administration to review marijuana’s classification as a schedule 1 controlled substance, which places the drug on the same level as heroin and LSD, and classifies it as more dangerous than fentanyl- a narcotic that has a high risk of addiction and dependency, and can even cause death when taken in high doses. 

Officials have stated that there are now no people serving time in federal prison for marijuana possession.

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