Reader: Just Legalize Cannabis Federally and Be Done With It!

Reader: Just Legalize Cannabis Federally and Be Done With It!
Barndon Marshall
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“I think we should decriminalize marijuana, period. And I think everyone — anyone who has a record — should be let out of jail, their records expunged, be completely zeroed out," Senator Joe Biden said during a Democratic primary debate in November 2019.

That represented a big move from Biden's much less weed-welcoming stance in previous years, and now some of America's largest marijuana trade and advocacy groups are calling on President Biden to make good on his campaign statement. In a public letter addressed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Minority Cannabis Business Association, National Cannabis Industry Association and the newly formed United States Cannabis Coalition, among others, call on the president to "immediately" issue a general pardon for all former nonviolent federal marijuana offenders, and free anyone federally incarcerated for nonviolent, marijuana-only offenses in states where their former pot crimes are now legal.

And readers definitely support the move. Says Richard: 

Decriminalize cultivation, possession and use of cannabis now. Thank you.

Adds Derrick:

YES! It is time to decrminalize cannabis on the national level. Allow the states to decide and allow the ones that have legalized (such as Colorado) to claim payroll taxes and acquire loans from banks and behave like any other multi-billion-dollar industry. There is a bill sitting in Congress RIGHT NOW that would do just that.

Wonders Kyle:

Don't we need to stop arresting people for marijuana before pardoning people for marijuana? I mean... counterintuitive as it is, we still jail people for weed here in Colorado, nonviolent offenders.

Replies Alex:

I hope it happens. It better happen. I shouldn't be able to smoke in my house while people are in prison in a legal state for nonviolent offenses.

Suggests Brad:

Just legalize it federally and be done with it!

Concludes Schaemus:

Don’t hold your breath.

"We appreciate that the Biden-Sanders Task Force recommendations speak to these issues, and we recognize that expungement is an important part of the healing process," says the letter to Biden. "We ask you to clearly send — through a general clemency — a powerful message that our country is truly taking a new course on criminal justice policy and practice."

Do you think Biden will send this message? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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