A man smoking marijuana
A man smokes marijuana in Washington Square Park on the annual but informal cannabis holiday, 4/20 in New York Reuters

President Joe Biden is extending pardons on marijuana charges to include thousands of people convicted of its use on federal lands and in Washington, DC.

Biden's previous move in October 2022 pardoned individuals convicted of simple possession on federal lands

Biden also commuted the sentences of 11 individuals who are serving "unduly long sentences for non-violent drug offenses."

According to the White House, President Biden is "using his authority under the Constitution to uphold the values of redemption and rehabilitation by commuting the sentences of 11 fellow Americans."

In a statement on his clemency actions, Biden said he issued this round of executive clemencies "to review clemency petitions and deliver reforms that advance equal justice, address racial disparities, strengthen public safety, and enhance the wellbeing of all Americans."

Biden called on the states' governors to do the same and take similar steps to erase marijuana convictions.

Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level despite legalization in various states for recreational or medical use.

"Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely due to the use or possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either. That's why I continue to urge Governors to do the same with regard to state offenses and applaud those who have since taken action", Biden said.

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