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Warren pressures Biden on cannabis pardons

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to President Biden on Tuesday reminding him of his campaign promise to pardon federal non-violent cannabis convictions, reports The Hill

Urging ‘a change of course’

Since he was elected, Democrats have put the pressure on Biden to reform laws, which have disproportionately impacted people of color in the US.

“After over a century of failed and racist cannabis policies, we write to urge a change of course: we request that you use your executive authority to pardon all individuals convicted of non-violent cannabis offenses, whether formerly or currently incarcerated,” reads the letter, which is also signed by Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).

Campaign promises

The letter also reminded Biden of his own perspectives, which he shared in November 2019 during the Democratic primary debate.

“Number one, I think we should decriminalize marijuana, period,” Biden said. “And I think everyone — anyone who has a record should be let out of jail, their records expunged, be completely zeroed out.”

Transformative blanket pardons

The Senators also said blanket pardons would be transformative to tens of thousands of Americans.

“Most importantly, such a pardon — combined with your leadership on an accessible expungement process to formally clear the criminal records of those affected — would mark the beginning of a reversal of decades of ineffective and discriminatory cannabis policies, allowing Americans to return to their communities, find housing and jobs, and rebuild their lives without the burdens of an unjustly imposed criminal record.”

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