On Wednesday, some celebrities, republican leaders, and civil rights activists delivered a letter to President Trump appealing for pardons or reparations of federal marijuana prisoners for nonviolent cannabis-related crimes.
The letter states that the signatories “firmly believe that justice requires the exercise of executive clemency in these cases. “It is accompanied by a specific list of 24 people who are currently behind bars for cannabis-related offenses, many of whom are serving life sentences.
Weldon Angelos, who was himself sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence for cannabis before a court reduced his sentence and released him, had already submitted a draft of the letter to the White House in March.
You have expressed support for the right of states to enforce their cannabis laws, especially for medical purposes,” wrote the signatories, including former NBA star Kevin Garnett. “And while there are several proposals before Congress to finally end the ban on cannabis, they tend to lack any real relief for those serving time for selling cannabis.
Given the timidity of this bill, the impasse in Congress, and the imperative of freedom, clemency is the right tool to resolve this problem,” he said. You and you alone have the power to call for the great hypocrisy of previous administrations. While cannabis has become a thriving legal market and has enriched many, your predecessors ignored those serving long federal sentences for doing the same thing.
Among the more than 50 signatories to the news, the letter is Alice Johnson, who appeared at the Republican National Convention and whose story was featured in pro-Trump ads after her drug sentence was overturned by the president.
Legislators from the Republican states of Kansas, Maine, and Missouri also signed, as did actor Danny Trejo, New Haven, Missouri Police Chief Danny Trejo, and former New Mexico Governor and presidential candidate Gary Johnson. They were joined by representatives of associations such as #cut50, Marijuana Policy Project, and Law Enforcement Action Partnership.
To date, during his administration, Trump has granted 27 pardons and 11 commutations. The signatories of this letter expect to see an increase in inclemency from the Executive Board in the coming weeks, as is the case in the last weeks of a presidency.
It is ridiculous that we currently have a billionaire in the cannabis industry, but let’s keep some people in jail for doing the same thing. This is just another example of a useless and destructive criminal justice system,” he said in a press release. I am confident that President Trump will strongly consider correcting some of the most egregious sentences we have brought to his attention.
He is the first president in modern history to commute several sentences during his first years in office,” he said. Traditionally, pardons and commutations take place at the end of a presidency, so this model reassures us that we will get justice for some of them.
No one knows, of course, how Trump will react to the demand for a series of cannabis-specific clemency measures.