Many Americans arrested for marijuana won't find relief under Biden's pardon plan

President Joe Biden’s announcement Thursday

that he pardoned federal convictions for simple possession of marijuana could help more than 6,500 people obtain employment or other opportunities

but it’ll do little for most people incarcerated for marijuana.

Biden also pushed for more governors to follow suit for state offenses, where many marijuana charges are filed.

“Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either,” Biden said.

Biden's move recognizes the problem of mass marijuana incarceration, said Morgan Fox, political director for the nonprofit National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Last year, about 1,000 people were charged with violating federal marijuana laws, according to a United States Sentencing Commission report cited by NORML

Nearly 7,000 were federally charged with those offenses in 2012

Across the nation, about 500,000 people were arrested on cannabis-related offenses in 2019. Most of those charges were for state offenses, the FBI said.