The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is now accepting pardon applications from individuals previously charged or convicted of simple marijuana possession at the federal level.
The online application process launches five months after President Biden issued a proclamation pardoning all prior federal convictions of simple marijuana possession on Oct. 6, 2022. Now, through the DOJ’s application process, eligible individuals can receive proof of certificate that they were pardoned under the president’s proclamation, according to a release.
To be eligible for a pardon and certificate of proof, applicants must have been previously charged with or convicted of simple possession of marijuana in either a federal court of D.C. Superior Court, according to the release, and the applicant must have lawfully been in the United States at the time of the offense. Those convicted of state-level marijuana offenses are not eligible for the pardon.
While DOJ notes that a pardon “does not signify innocence or expunge the conviction,” it does restore civil and legal abilities, such as voting rights and ability to sit on a jury. Furthermore, a pardon proof of certificate may help individuals seeking to obtain employment, licenses, or bonding, according to DOJ.
Individuals seeking proof of certificate for their pardons can apply either online, by email, or by mail, though DOJ notes “The fastest way to submit a request is online through this website. If you send us the request form (PDF) by email or mail, it may take longer to process it.” Individuals can either apply on their own or have someone else apply on their behalf.
More information on DOJ’s marijuana pardon application process can be found here.