News Advisory
Updated October 12, 2022


Additional Analysis Relating to Executive Action to
Pardon Federal Convictions for Simple Possession of Marijuana

WASHINGTON, DC — Last week, President Biden announced his intention to pardon current United States citizens and lawful permanent residents convicted of simple possession of marijuana, directing the Attorney General to develop an administrative process for the issuance of certificates of pardon to eligible individuals. Pursuant to its statutory mission, the United States Sentencing Commission serves as a clearinghouse for the collection, preparation, and dissemination of information relating to federal sentencing practices. The Commission occasionally performs analyses relating to significant Executive Branch initiatives relating to the presidential pardon and commutation authority.

On Friday, October 7, the Sentencing Commission released analyses relating to President Biden's executive action. Additional analyses can be found at the link below, providing additional information on demographics and geographic distribution.

The analysis below provides data relating to offenders sentenced between fiscal year 1992 and fiscal year 2021 convicted of at least one count of simple possession involving marijuana (21 U.S.C. § 844).


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The United States Sentencing Commission, an independent agency in the judicial branch of the federal government, was organized in 1985 to develop a national sentencing policy for the federal courts. The resulting sentencing guidelines provide structure for the courts’ sentencing discretion to help ensure that similar offenders who commit similar offenses receive similar sentences.