Dear President Biden,
I am your voter. I voted for you: once in 2020 and twice when you were vice president to President Obama. And I personally want to thank you for canceling student loan debt. It makes a real difference in the quality of life for me and my loved ones. Thank you for keeping your campaign promise.
Now I ask you: please keep your other campaign promise to free America’s cannabis prisoners and decriminalize the herb.
Make it a priority. There are so many advantages to this platform. That’s why you ran over it. The decriminalization of cannabis is incredibly popular and bipartisan. There’s nothing America agrees on more than weed. 68% of citizens think weed should be legal, a record according to the latest Gallup poll. A whopping 80% of American Democrats want cannabis to be legal.
This is your party. That’s a lot of people. This would significantly help midterm Democrats, and it would help you get re-elected in 2024. Young Americans, once your best demographic in 2020, have seen the biggest drop in your approval rating of any age group. . You need their vote.
Another recent study found that 57% of all adults want people with previous convictions to be cleared of non-violent marijuana charges. You could immediately release all US citizens wrongfully imprisoned for a plant. You know, like you asked Russia to do for Brittney Griner. This political move alone could free up half of drug costs in the United States
This is an urgent matter, Mr. President. For the 40,000 people sitting in jail and prison for this factory, this question determines their whole lives. Your citizens are suffering in private prisons because of a factory that is legal in 19 states. Hypocrisy. Every day that passes, 40,000 Americans have to put their lives, their dreams, their futures and those of their families on hold because of the failure of the war on drugs. It is a grave injustice. We need immediate action for those Americans who have been hardest hit by some of your past policies. I know you can change your mind. You have before.
America has more of our own citizens in prison than any country on earth – 2.1 million. They lose an average of 2.6 years of their life. Data from the ACLU revealed that states waste a cumulative $3 billion each year enforcing cannabis laws. Black Americans are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis, the ACLU documented in its 2020 data report titled A tale of two Americas. I am sad to say that these numbers have not improved since you took office. Cannabis-related federal arrests have actually increased by 25% under the watch of your administrator.
Please, no more.
All of this incarceration is happening simultaneously as states collect Billions tax dollars from the booming industry.
Cannabis legalization will help pull the country out of the impending recession. Economists estimate that the legal cannabis industry would create 1 million jobs in America. The states in your union have already collected $10 billion in taxes on legal weed and $3.7 billion in 2021 alone. cash. Without federal decriminalization, legal cannabis businesses are relegated to operating in cash, putting them at risk and forcing them into the shadows.
Every state that legalizes cannabis benefits greatly. California earned $1.2 billion in taxes from the legal weed industry in 2021. Extremely high taxes (as in the California market) are not necessary to see economic improvement: fairly reasonably taxed markets like Colorado made over $400 million and Washington made well over $500 million. in 2021.
It is not too late. The steps are simple and have been detailed for you in this report from the Congressional Research Service. You can release all cannabis prisoners with a single signature using your executive action. You could clean up the muddy, regulatory, cash waters of the state-by-state market by enacting federal decriminalization or helping advance the MORE Act. You could be giving a whole generation of passionate, innovative business owners access to the same American dream you found.
You could begin to undo the damage done by the War on Drugs. You could pull America out of a recession. You could single-handedly help reduce the opioid epidemic in the United States. You could improve the lives of your constituents.
It is ironical. After all these years of criminalization, weed is going to save you.
Thank you for listening, Mr President.