WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden announced on Thursday he will issue an executive order pardoning all people convicted of simple marijuana possession under federal law, in what amounts to the most extensive White House action taken to date in U.S. drug policy.
Biden expanded on his announcement on social media where he laid out a plan to also call for a review of current federal laws surrounding marijuana.
"As I’ve said before, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana. Today, I’m taking steps to end our failed approach. Allow me to lay them out," Biden wrote.
He is also calling on governors to issue similar pardons for those convicted of state marijuana offenses, which reflect the vast majority of marijuana possession cases.
Biden, in a statement, said the move reflects his position that "no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana."
"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," he said. "My action will help relieve the collateral consequences arising from these convictions."
Biden is also directing the secretary of Health and Human Services and the U.S. attorney general to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this story.