Democrats press Joe Biden to pardon Americans for nonviolent cannabis offences

Democrats press Joe Biden to pardon Americans for nonviolent cannabis offences
Senators say White House has ignored letter on clemency for nearly a year

A group of progressive Democrats in the Senate are turning up the heat on the 白色的房子 to deliver on 乔拜登’s campaign promise to end the federal war on marijuana 用户.

In a letter on Wednesday to the White House, Department of Health and Human Services, and Justice Department the group of six Democrats urge the Biden administration to follow through on a promise Joe Biden repeated several times on the campaign trail: To “decriminalize marijuana”.

The issue is a sore spot for the left: Mr Biden has taken almost no action on the issue to date despite running ads espousing his plans to “automatically” expunge the criminal records of those convicted of marijuana-related offences and decriminalise the drug to ensure that people do not get sent to prison for possession or supposed intent to distribute. The inaction on marijuana policy and criminal justice reform ties in to the growing and persistent narrative which claims that Mr Biden is unprepared for leadership and is getting little done, either for fear of provoking Republicans or appearing as a tyrant, for which Democrats often criticised his predecessor.

“We commend the administration’s recent pardons and commutations of 78 人们, including nine with non-violent cannabis related offenses,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Senators 伯尼桑德斯Elizabeth Warren. “然而, much more has to be done to address the racist and harmful legacy of cannabis policies on Black and Brown communities.”

“On November 9, 2021, we called on President Biden to use his authority “to pardon all individuals convicted of non-violent cannabis offenses, whether formerly or currently incarcerated. To date, we have not received a response to this letter,” they continued, noting that it is estimated that around 40,000 people are currently imprisoned in America at the federal level for marijuana-related offences.

The White House has continued to punt the football whenever asked about the issue. Former press secretary Jen Psaki said that the president was “exploring multiple avenues to provide relief to certain nonviolent drug offenders, including through the use of his clemency power” last August, but beyond issuing pardons for three people and commuting the sentences of several dozen in April, the White House has not lived up to the president’s promises.

The Democrats’ letter on Wednesday comes on the heels of a CNN report indicating congressional Democrats’ frustration with the administration’s messaging and apparent inability to take the lead amid multiple crises that are affecting Americans, like the infant formula shortage and overturn of Roe vs Wade.

Perhaps that’s why their statement pulled no punches and drifted away from the effusive praise that party members in Congress up until recently were showering on the Democratic White House in their public comments.

“The administration’s failure to coordinate a timely review of its cannabis policy is harming thousands of Americans, slowing research, and depriving Americans of their ability to use marijuana for medical or other purposes,” the senators wrote.. “We ask that the administration act quickly to rectify this decade long injustice harming individuals, especially Black and Brown communities.”

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