A LAST PRISONER PROJECT INITIATIVE
A TIME TO HEAL
Imagine sitting in a cell for years, decades, or even for life, incarcerated for doing the same thing that’s simultaneously netting others millions of dollars.
This is the sad reality for the tens of thousands of people, disproportionately people of color, languishing behind bars due to federal marijuana prohibition.
It’s time to turn words into action. To heal the nation, President Biden must grant clemency to the tens of thousands with federal cannabis convictions.
The Clemency Power.
Article II of the U.S Constitution gives American presidents the unilateral authority to grant clemency, or “reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States.”
The Framers conceived of the clemency power (an umbrella term that includes pardons, commutations, and amnesties) as a mechanism for correcting the inevitable injustices and systemic shortcomings of America’s legal system.
To that end, this absolute power gives the President the (all-too-often squandered) opportunity to dispense “the mercy of government” in cases where the justice system has failed to deliver a morally and publicly acceptable result.
While a true dismantling of systemic racism and ‘criminal injustice’ will demand action outside of pardons and commutations, we can think of few things more viscerally unjust than the plight of the thousands of people currently incarcerated in federal prisons for nonviolent cannabis violations.
After all, these “cannabis prisoners” (who unsurprisingly, are disproportionately people of color) remain behind bars for years, decades, or even for life, for doing the exact same thing that has given birth to a $17.9 billion dollar industry.