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Democrats press Joe Biden to pardon Americans for nonviolent cannabis offenses

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 White House to deliver on Joe Biden’s campaign promise to end the federal war on marijuana users.

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 criticized his predecessor.

“We commend the administration’s recent pardons and commutations of 78 people, including nine with non-violent cannabis related offenses,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. “However, much more has to be done to address the racist and harmful legacy of cannabis policies on Black and Brown communities.” [Read More @ The Independent]


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