The president will also urge governors to follow his lead for people convicted on state charges of possession, officials say.
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Protesters outside the White House in 2016.
WASHINGTON — President Biden on Thursday pardoned all people convicted of marijuana possession under federal law and said his administration would review whether marijuana should still be a Class 1 drug like heroin and LSD.
The pardons will clear about 6,500 people who were convicted on federal charges of simple possession of marijuana from 1992 to 2021 and thousands more who were convicted of possession in the District of Columbia, officials said. Officials said the president would urge governors to follow his lead for people convicted on state charges of possession.
The moves are striking shifts for the federal government on an issue that was a campaign promise that Mr. Biden made in 2020.
“Sending people to jail for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives — for conduct that is legal in many states,” Mr. Biden said on Twitter on Thursday. “That’s before you address the clear racial disparities around prosecution and conviction. Today, we begin to right these wrongs.”