During a Friday rally in Concord, New Hampshire, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said he would “mass pardon everyone who is in jail for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses,” according to a report from The Grio.
“Americans now recognize just how broken our mass incarceration system is and how much progress we need to make.” – Yang, during an Americans for Civil Liberties Union event on Aug. 16.
It’s not the first time Yang – founder of Venture for America – has indicated his support to set cannabis prisoners free. In April, during remarks at the National Action Network Conference in New York City, New York, he said he would, not only free non-violent offenders charged with drug-related crimes but would “pardon them on April 20, 2021” and “high-five them on their way out of jail.”
Earlier this month in an interview on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is also seeking the nomination, said he would legalize cannabis via executive order and called expunging low-level cannabis crime records “the right thing to do.”
Other Democrats in the race have shown support for cannabis law reforms, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren who has introduced legislation to ensure state-approved cannabis programs could not be targeted by federal law enforcement; California Sen. Kamala Harris who is a co-sponsor on the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act which would decriminalize cannabis federally and expunge criminal records; Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who has used clemency to free individuals convicted of cannabis-related offenses in the state; and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard who has introduced legislation to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.
In a survey from The Hill and Harris X, Yang polled at just 1 percent, while former Vice President Joe Biden led the field with 31 percent, followed by Sanders (16 percent) and Warren (10 percent). In all, there are 23 Democrats seeking the nomination.
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