Unlock 20% Off Our NEW CBD Products
Shop Now

Are Mass Marijuana Pardons a Possibility?

A group of 150 celebrities, academics, and politicians think so.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

President Joe Biden has said he favors decriminalizing marijuana, noting that it "makes no sense" for people to go to jail for marijuana. Now, many celebrities, academics, law enforcement officials, and politicians want to see him back up those words with action.

A letter sent to Biden and signed by 150 people asked that the president issue a "full, complete and unconditional pardon" to all people with non-violent federal marijuana convictions. Those signing the letter included Drake, Killer Mike, Meek Mill, Deion Sanders, Kevin Garnett, and Al Harrington. The letter also was signed by Glass House Brands Inc. CEO Kyle Kazan.

The letter stated a mass marijuana pardon could have a significant, positive impact on thousands of Americans. "The harms of incarceration are obvious," the letter states. "But the pains of federal marijuana convictions transcend prison walls, making it more difficult for someone to get a job, access affordable housing, and receive an education."

"A conviction can forever limit an individual's constitutional rights and can put the American dream further out of reach for an entire family. Enough is enough. No one should be locked up in federal prison for marijuana."

Civil rights activist Weldon Angelos, who received a presidential pardon for a cannabis conviction from President Donald Trump, helped coordinate efforts to get the letter signed and sent to Biden. He now runs a civil rights group called the Weldon Project.

RELATED: Drake, Killer Mike, Al Harrington, and More Want All Non-Violent Cannabis Offenders Pardoned

 

Public support for cannabis soars

The letter mentions that 68 percent of the American public now supports marijuana legalization. That's the highest that number has ever reached. It's been more than 50 percent for almost a decade

They also use Biden's own words to make their argument. In a press release on the letter, Angelos said that Biden had promised to use his presidential power to pardon those serving prison time. 

"At a time when dispensaries are as prevalent as liquor stores in some states, it is time for President Biden to now make good on that promise," he said.

RELATED: Massachusetts Awards Weed Delivery Licenses Exclusively to Social Equity Applicants

Convictions destroy lives

Angelos provides an example of how drug laws could disrupt a person's life. In 2003, Angelos, a music producer, fell victim to mandatory minimum federal sentencing laws after his arrest in Salt Lake City. Law enforcement there said Angelos had a gun strapped to his ankle while selling weed to an informant. The presence of a firearm triggered a minimum sentence of 55 years. Trump pardoned him in December 2020.

The letter writers urged Biden to take a more comprehensive approach and follow in the footsteps of former President Jimmy Carter. The Democrat issued an unconditional pardon to all Selective Service Act violators in 1977, closing a chapter of the Vietnam War.

The letter stated that if Biden chooses an "act of constitutional grace, a general clemency will send a clear and powerful message that our country is truly taking a new course on criminal justice policy and practice."

"A conviction can forever limit an individual's constitutional rights and can put the American dream further out of reach for an entire family. Enough is enough. No one should be locked up in federal prison for marijuana."

To stay up to date on the latest marijuana-related news, make sure to like dispensaries.com on Facebook.