President Biden will pardon everyone in the U.S. who has been convicted of simple possession of marijuana under federal law, the White House announced Thursday.
“There are thousands of people who have prior federal convictions for marijuana possession, who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result. My action will help relieve the collateral consequences arising from these convictions,” Biden said in a statement.
The White House is urging governors to take similar action. Administration officials told reporters the move could benefit about 6,500 individuals, though they noted that there are many more people who have been convicted under state law.
Nobody is currently in federal prison on a simple possession charge, officials said.