In early October, President Joseph Biden announced that he would pardon thousands of Americans who were convicted of simple marijuana possession at the federal level. President Biden also called on governors to begin the process of issuing pardons for similar cannabis convictions at the state level, saying in a public statement that no one should be jailed for just possessing or using marijuana.
However, the pardon would not apply to noncitizens who did not have legal status when they were arrested and convicted. At the time, the White House stated that the Office of the Pardon Attorney would soon make it possible for eligible parties to apply for a certificate of pardon via a short application form.
On Tuesday, U.S. Pardon Attorney Elizabeth Oyer revealed that this short, 10-minute form is nearly ready and that the Justice Department would unveil it to the public. Oyer discussed the practical and symbolic implications of Biden’s pardon during a panel discussion by Ohio State University’s Mortiz College of Law. The panel also involved Last Prisoner Project executive director and general counsel Sarah Gersten and University of Minnesota Law School Clemency project director JaneAnne Murray.
Acknowledging the fact that this clemency does not extend to immigrants, an exclusion that raised the ire of several immigration and racial justice groups, Oyer said that immigrants may be able to receive certificates of pardons by applying through the traditional clemency process. Oyer noted that eligible parties were officially pardoned as soon as the pardon proclamation was signed in October as the pardon was “self-effectuating.” However, the proclamation also instructed the DOJ to create a certification process following the pardons.
According to Oyer, the certification process that the DOJ office is working on will be “very simple and very streamlined,’” taking most people no more than 10 minutes to complete. She explained that crafting something simple in the government often requires more effort and takes longer but that the applications will be ready for public deployment ‘”very soon.”
These applications will be available online and can also be submitted through physical mail.
Oyer said that the office is looking to speed up the application process for applicants by working with the DOJ’s IT department to develop a web-based platform where applicants can simply and quickly submit their applications. The platform will also be designed in a way that makes it easier for Oyer’s office to swiftly review the information and process the applications into certificates of pardon.
Meanwhile, aside from the debates on whether marijuana should or shouldn’t be legalized federally, several companies such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are taking the pharmaceutical route of conducting preclinical and clinical development programs on cannabinoid-based medicines so that FDA approval is secured and the therapies are availed through the hospital system.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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