Senators Urge Biden to Pardon All Non-violent Cannabis Offenses

High Times

Decrying “over a century of failed and racist cannabis policies,” Elizabeth Warren and a pair of other Democratic senators are urging President Joe Biden to use his executive authority to “pardon all individuals convicted of nonviolent cannabis offenses, whether formerly or currently incarcerated.” Warren, the senior senator from Massachusetts, made the request in a letter to Biden on Tuesday. Warren’s fellow senator from the Bay State, Ed Markey, and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley also signed the letter.  “America’s cannabis policies have punished Black and Brown communities for too long. Beginning at the turn of the 20th century, states enacted anti-cannabis laws to specifically target Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans,” the three senators wrote. “By 1937, the battle against cannabis—buoyed by a high-profile campaign relying on racist tropes—had escalated to a federal ban.  “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. 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.” The Democratic trio also came with receipts, pointing to the mounds of polling data showing record numbers of Americans in support of marijuana legalization. “These policies are increasingly out of step with the views of the American public. Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe that cannabis should be legalized,” the senators wrote. “Eighteen states, two territories and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use, all in the past decade. “Twenty-seven states—ranging from New York to North Dakota—plus D.C. have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis,” they continued. “Thirty-six states, three territories and D.C. have allowed for the medical use of cannabis.…

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