President Joe Biden received a letter from 37 members of Congress on Thursday urging him to issue a blanket pardon for nonviolent offenders with convictions for federal marijuana crimes. The letter was led by Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, the co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, and 35 other leaders and members of the House of Representatives including Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler.
In the letter dated February 18, the members of Congress called on Biden to continue efforts that were initiated during his term as vice president to address injustices caused by the failed War on Drugs.
“During your previous tenure at the White House, President Obama understood that decades of harsh and discriminatory federal drug laws unfairly trapped minority individuals and communities in cycles of despair,” they wrote. “That is why he used the tools of justice to grant clemency for 1,927 individuals convicted of federal crimes. Most of these individuals had been convicted on drug charges and would not have been sentenced so harshly, if at all, under today’s standards.”
“Your Administration has the power to expand on this legacy and issue a general pardon to all former federal, non-violent cannabis offenders in the U.S