Joe Bide will pardon all those convicted at the federal level for possession of marijuana through an executive order, the White House announced on Thursday.
“Sending people to jail simply for possessing marijuana has affected too many lives and put people in jail for conduct that is legal in many states,” he said in a video announcing the decision.
In a call with journalists, senior officials from the US Administration explained that the order will affect those convicted at the federal level, of which no one is currently in prison, although Biden will encourage governors to do the same in the states.
“We estimate that about 6,500 people convicted of marijuana possession at the federal level, and 1,000 people in the District of Columbia, will benefit from this decision,” an official said during the call. These convictions, in many cases, make it difficult for those affected to access housing or employment.
The majority of convictions for possession of marijuana, however, occur at the state level, so the Administration of the Democratic president will urge governors across the country to take the same action.