Chief executive officers of the cannabis industry released a statement through the United States Cannabis Council (USCC) calling on President Joe Biden to issue a pardon on non-violent cannabis convictions.
“Cannabis prohibition has negatively impacted millions of Americans — Black Americans most severely of all. Ending cannabis prohibition and expunging records for non-violent offenses is vital to criminal justice reform and racial equity,” the CEO’s statement reads.
The group of CEOs represents companies that are members of the USCC. The USCC is a coalition of businesses, organizations, advocacy groups, and individuals who seek to legalize cannabis in the United States and create a more equitable cannabis industry.
“It is frankly unconscionable that countless Americans are in prison or struggling to overcome criminal records because they bought or sold the product at the very core of our business,” the CEOs stated in their announcement.
During the campaign trail, Biden made pledges to decriminalize cannabis and grant pardons for people with cannabis-related convictions.
“As leaders in the cannabis industry, we urgently call on President Biden to meet this historic moment by issuing a blanket pardon for non-violent cannabis offenses. We stand ready to meet with the Administration and work together with Congress to advance a broad range of criminal justice and social equity initiatives as we bring a close to the prohibition era,” the announcement from the CEOs states.
The CEOs are not the only group asking Biden to pardon non-violent marijuana convictions. Last September, Grammy award-winning artist Drake and more than 150 celebrities and prominent figures signed a letter to Biden asking him to consider a pardon.
Some of the companies represented in the statement include Curaleaf, HOUSEPLANT, and PharmaCann. The statement from the CEOs also mentions that the cannabis industry fuels economic growth with over 300,000 people employed, $18 billion in revenue, and generating significant state and local tax revenue.
The announcement also mentioned how “over two-thirds of Americans support legalization.” The statement reflects a recent poll showing how support for legal cannabis is at an all-time high.
Although Biden has yet to issue a presidential pardon on a national level, some states like California have begun the process of clearing records of people on cannabis-related convictions, such as carrying small amounts of weed in a plastic container.