CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Democrat Party in West Virginia is calling on Governor Justice to Pardon those Convicted on Cannabis Possession.

In social media post, WVDP Chair Mike Puskin touted some statewide figures that indicated in 2020 there were more than 8,000 arrests for cannabis in West Virginia. African-Americans in West Virginia were 7.3 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white residents.

He said in 2021, 279 West Virginians were incarcerated for possession of cannabis.

Puskin clarified the idea of a pardon would not apply to people convicted of illegally selling or distributing cannabis, but it is a logical next step towards decriminalizing personal cannabis use.”

“Over the years, untold millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted on arresting and prosecuting people for something that is legal in many other states. Such prosecutions clog our courts, overcrowd our jails, and waste scarce law enforcement time and resources. On top of that, people convicted for this misdemeanor face obstacles to employment, finding housing, and receiving federal student loans. People who can’t find decent jobs, adequate housing, and access to education are more likely to end up on public assistance or to turn to crime to support themselves,” Puskin said in the statement.

The post followed an announcement from the Biden administration Thursday that the president is pardoning thousands of individuals convicted of possessing marijuana, saying the current system “makes no sense.