Today, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus released the following statement welcoming President Biden's announcement to pardon all simple, non-violent cannabis offenders:
"Today, President Biden took an important step in the fight to end the federal government's failed and discriminatory prohibition of cannabis. No president has stepped forward to pardon low-level marijuana offenders at this scale before. At a time when 99% of Americans live in a state where some form of cannabis use is legal, it is unthinkable that anyone--especially predominantly Black, Latinx, and Indigenous Americans--are imprisoned for simple, nonviolent cannabis possession.
"This is a critical important step forward for racial justice in the failed war on drugs that too often targeted people of color, especially Black and Latino men. While this order is welcome and long overdue, it is just the first step of many that this Administration should take.
"We have pending legislation that deals with medical marijuana research and the ability for cannabis businesses to access banking services--both of which have gained support in the House and Senate. The President should embrace and celebrate. It is critical that we put the full force of the federal government behind them.
"There was a time when this was controversial. Yet for several years, the federal government has been left behind by people and states who did not wait. Not only does more than two-thirds of the public support full legalization, even half of American Republicans are also ready to end this chapter of the failed war on drugs. We welcome this action and hope it is the first of several noncontroversial critical steps to promote justice, equity, and rational policy."