Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Congress Reps to Biden: Release Marijuana Prisoners Now and Expunge Records

Image via The Human Solution

Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Barbara Lee want President Biden to do the right thing and stick by his campaign promise to "automatically expunge prior criminal records for marijuana possession, so those affected don’t have to figure out how to petition for it or pay for a lawyer."

In a February 18 letter addressed to the President, Blumenauer, Lee and 34 additional House members urged him to "grant executive clemency for all non-violent cannabis offenders."

"Your Administration has the power to expand on this legacy and issue a general pardon to all former federal, non-violent cannabis offenders in the U.S and trigger resentencing for all those who remain federally incarcerated on non-violent, cannabis-only offenses for activity now legal under state laws."

The additional signees are:

Reps. Jake Auchincloss, Jamaal Bowman, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Luis Correa, Charlie Crist, Danny K. Davis, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Jesús "Chuy" García, Raúl Grijalva, Alcee Hastings, Steven Horsford, Jared Huffman, Pramila Jayapal, Hank Johnson, Mondaire Jones, Ro Khanna, Brenda L. Lawrence, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Carolyn B. Maloney,  James P. McGovern, Jerrold Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ed Perlmutter, Dean Phillips, Mark Pocan, Ayanna Pressley, Jan Schakowsky, Rashida Tlaib, David Trone, Nydia M. Velázquez and Peter Welch. Washington, DC delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton also signed.

RELATED: The MORE Act Passes: House Votes in Favor of of Decriminalizing Marijuana

They cite a precedent when Jimmy Carter expunged the records of Vietman War draft dodgers.

"You could begin the process of 'winning the peace' in the War on Drugs by ending it and working to make whole those who have been harmed."

Blumenauer and Lee, both Democrats, head the bipartisan Congressional Cannabis Caucus. The other members are Republicans Mike Joyce and Don Young.

Recently, a number of long-serving pot prisioners have received orders of clemency and pardons, including John Knock, Craig Cesal, Corvain Cooper, Michael Pelletier, Weldon Angelos, Andrew Cox, Michael Thompson, Fate Winlow and Richard DeLisi.

Biden favors deciminalization, but stops short of supporting legalization. At his CNN Town Hall on Feburary 16 he said:

"No one should go to jail for a drug offense. No one should go to jail for the use of a drug. They should go to drug rehabilitation."

Cue to 43:30 in the video below.

 

 

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.