Last week, President Joe Biden issued an executive order pardoning all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. It marks a big step in trying to repair the harms of the war on drugs, experts on Greater Boston said, but state action is still needed to make the biggest impact.

Shaleen Title, chief executive of the thinktank the Parabola Center, said Biden's recent announcement is "hugely significant." However, it only applies to federal possession charges which impacts about 6,500 people. She said she hopes it will lead to more pardons at the state level. Title said Biden should also take more steps to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.

Cheryle Kelley, who was convicted of marijuana possession as a teenager, said it was a challenge to get a job and housing in her adult life after the conviction.

She says if she were granted a state pardon years ago, her life could have been different. "I would have never had a record, I would have never had any issue with housing," she said. "Things like that being a single mom facing issues like that were very hard on me."

Kelley now owns Treez of Lyfe, a cannabis business. Her record was expunged last year. "That opened up a lot of doors for me," she said.

Watch: How Biden’s federal marijuana possession pardons will affect people convicted in Massachusetts