The following statement is from David Villalobos, Statewide Right2Justice Coordinator of the Texas Organizing Project, in response to President Joe Biden announcing steps his administration will take to pardon all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession and urge governors to pardon simple state possession offenses.
“The positive change that President Biden’s actions will have on the lives of thousands of Americans cannot be overstated.
“His announcement marks a significant step in the right direction toward the marijuana reform that a clear majority in our country support. Already, twenty states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana for nonmedical use.
“It also signals a further shift away from failed and discriminatory War on Drugs policies that for decades have targeted Black and Latino communities – tearing apart families, devastating neigborhoods, and contributing to our nation’s astronomical incarceration rate.”
Mattie Jackson, a TOP Right2Justice campaign member in Houston added:
“Black Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana charges than their white peers, yet both consume marijuana at roughly the same rates, underscoring how reforming our nation’s laws on marijuana IS about racial and economic justice.
“These bold steps from President Biden are absolutely welcome and must be expanded on. Countless promising lives have been shattered by our unjust marijuana policies rooted in racism.
“Will Greg Abbott now act on President Biden’s call for governors to pardon simple state marijuana possession offenses? Knowing our radical, out-of-touch governor, we’re not holding our breath. Of course he won’t.”
Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.