On Thursday, Beto O’Rourke updated his campaign platform’s position on cannabis with precise, targeted proposals addressing legalization, taxation and social justice. As a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, O’Rourke has continued his extended-standing fight to finish the prohibition of cannabis. On the campaign trail, O’Rourke has known as for federal cannabis legalization as portion of a wide-ranging package of criminal justice reforms. Now, we have a clearer image of specifically what he has in thoughts.
Beto O’Rourke Proposes “Drug War Justice Grants” for Formerly Incarcerated Folks
Considerably of Beto O’Rourke’s cannabis platform resembles other candidates’ proposals to federally legalize cannabis. O’Rourke’s strategy would apply a federal tax on the marijuana market, open up access to banks and economic solutions, operate to elevate minority-owned cannabis firms and invest in rebuilding lives and communities shattered by the drug war.
But it is Beto’s strategy for “Drug War Justice Grants” that distinguishes his proposal from the pack. Beneath O’Rourke’s strategy, a federal marijuana tax would fund grants to enable expunge possession convictions, assistance re-entry applications and straight deliver dollars to these formerly incarcerated for marijuana offenses in state and federal prisons. Federal marijuana tax income would also help these who have been locked out of chance due to marijuana crimes with acquiring housing and locating jobs.
“We want to not only finish the prohibition on marijuana, but also repair the harm performed to the communities of colour disproportionately locked up in our criminal justice method or locked out of chance due to the fact of the War on Drugs,” O’Rourke mentioned in a statement announcing his cannabis legalization strategy.
Drug War Justice Grants would be obtainable for diverse lengths of time, based on how extended a individual was in prison. The grants would take the kind of a month-to-month stipend, offered to repay folks who served time for nonviolent marijuana convictions. Grants would also help formerly incarcerated folks who want to operate or begin a company in the legal cannabis market.
O’Rourke’s Program Would Release These Presently Serving Time and Block Deportations
Beyond utilizing a federal marijuana tax to assistance efforts to redress the ongoing harms of the war on drugs, O’Rourke’s cannabis legalization proposal would also take methods to guard undocumented folks and these at present behind bars. Speaking with Fox News, O’Rourke’s campaign mentioned it had currently identified much more than 11,000 folks locked up in federal prison for nonviolent marijuana offenses who would be eligible for clemency below the strategy.
In addition, O’Rourke’s strategy would block the use of any marijuana-connected offenses as grounds to deport undocumented folks in the United States. All through his political profession in El Paso, Texas, O’Rourke has been particularly sensitive to the strategies federal drug policy impacts the border and immigration policy. In 2011, O’Rourke co-authored Dealing Death and Drugs: The Significant Organization of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico, a book which advocated for cannabis legalization as a suggests to lower violence.
The O’Rourke campaign got a bump amongst the crowded Democratic field thanks to the candidate’s get in touch with for a ban on assault weapons. Now, O’Rourke is utilizing the renewed interest toward his campaign to foreground his criminal justice proposals. In added to legalizing cannabis and expunging nonviolent marijuana charges, O’Rourke desires to finish money bail, mandatory minimums, private and for-profit prisons and assistance public defenders.