O’Rourke Would Use Marijuana Taxes To Enable Expunge Possession Convictions


On Thursday, Beto O’Rourke updated his campaign platform’s position on cannabis with certain, 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 referred to as for federal cannabis legalization as element of a wide-ranging package of criminal justice reforms. Now, we have a clearer image of precisely what he has in thoughts.

Beto O’Rourke Proposes “Drug War Justice Grants” for Formerly Incarcerated Persons

Significantly of Beto O’Rourke’s cannabis platform resembles other candidates’ proposals to federally legalize cannabis. O’Rourke’s program would apply a federal tax on the marijuana business, open up access to banks and monetary solutions, function to elevate minority-owned cannabis enterprises and invest in rebuilding lives and communities shattered by the drug war.

But it is Beto’s program for “Drug War Justice Grants” that distinguishes his proposal from the pack. Below O’Rourke’s program, a federal marijuana tax would fund grants to enable expunge possession convictions, help re-entry applications and straight present income 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 acquiring jobs.

“We need to have to not only finish the prohibition on marijuana, but also repair the harm accomplished to the communities of colour disproportionately locked up in our criminal justice technique or locked out of chance due to the fact of the War on Drugs,” O’Rourke mentioned in a statement announcing his cannabis legalization program.

Drug War Justice Grants would be out there for various lengths of time, based on how extended a particular person was in prison. The grants would take the type of a month-to-month stipend, offered to repay individuals who served time for nonviolent marijuana convictions. Grants would also help formerly incarcerated individuals who want to function or start off a enterprise in the legal cannabis business.

O’Rourke’s Program Would Release These Presently Serving Time and Block Deportations

Beyond utilizing a federal marijuana tax to help efforts to redress the ongoing harms of the war on drugs, O’Rourke’s cannabis legalization proposal would also take measures to guard undocumented individuals and these at the moment behind bars. Speaking with Fox News, O’Rourke’s campaign mentioned it had currently identified extra than 11,000 individuals locked up in federal prison for nonviolent marijuana offenses who would be eligible for clemency beneath the program.

Additionally, O’Rourke’s program would block the use of any marijuana-connected offenses as grounds to deport undocumented individuals in the United States. All through his political profession in El Paso, Texas, O’Rourke has been in particular sensitive to the strategies federal drug policy impacts the border and immigration policy. In 2011, O’Rourke co-authored Dealing Death and Drugs: The Major Business enterprise of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico, a book which advocated for cannabis legalization as a indicates to lessen 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 consideration 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 help public defenders.


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