A group of senators is urging President Joe Biden to use his executive authority to grant a mass pardon for people with non-violent marijuana convictions, a first step toward righting the wrongs of prohibition. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led the letter, which was also signed by Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). It calls on the president to “pardon all individuals convicted of non-violent cannabis offenses, whether formerly or currently incarcerated.” “In the 1970s, President Nixon launched the War on Drugs over the objections of his own advisors and experts, spawning mass incarceration policies with devastating effects on Black and Brown families,” the senators wrote in the letter, which was sent on Tuesday. “Today, despite legalization efforts across the country and roughly equal cannabis usage rates, Black Americans are still nearly four times as likely to be arrested for cannabis possession as white Americans.” Criminalization is “increasingly out of step with the views of the American public,” they said, noting public polling that shows strong, majority support for legalization, as well as the expansion of the state-level reform movement.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 11/10/2021 10:33:00