Drake, Meek Mill, Killer Mike, and Al Harrington are just a few names listed as part of a larger group of musicians, athletes, and activists who helped co-write and sign a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to pardon nonviolent cannabis offenders.
On Sept. 14, 2021, a letter featuring signatures from over 150 stars, lawmakers, law enforcement officials, and more “was delivered to U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr, requesting a full, complete, and unconditional pardon to all persons subject to federal criminal or civil enforcement on the basis of a nonviolent marijuana offense,” cannibisclemencynow.org revealed.
The letter comes as a collaborative effort with The WELDON PROJECT, an organization dedicated to funding social change and financial aid for those who are still serving prison time for cannabis-related offenses.
In a 25-page letter, its authors argued, “Whatever one thinks of other drugs and other defendants, incarcerating marijuana offenders in federal prisons is a misuse of our nation’s resources and grossly hypocritical, given that a clear majority of Americans oppose marijuana prohibition and about half admit to using the drug during their lifetime.”
The letter also highlighted some of the long-lasting effects a federal conviction could have on a person’s life post-prison, including “making it more difficult for someone to get a job, access affordable housing, and receive an education.” It added, “A conviction can forever limit an individual’s constitutional rights and can put the American dream further out of reach for an entire family.”
During a Democratic debate in November 2019, Biden championed the idea to “decriminalize marijuana, period.” He added, “And I think everyone — anyone who has a record should be let out of jail, their records expunged, be completely zeroed out.
The demand comes just months after several signatories to the letter, including Drake, T.I., Killer Mike, and 2 Chainz collaborated with clemency activist group Mission Green to draft another proposal to Biden asking for rapper Ralo’s prison sentence to be commuted.
The Gucci Mane signee is currently incarcerated for his involvement in a 2018 drug case. The Atlanta native, whose real name is Terrell Davis, was hit with two federal counts of intent to distribute marijuana after law enforcement found he’d flown 444 pounds of weed on a private plane from Sacramento, California, to Atlanta.
He is currently incarcerated in Clayton County Detention Center in Ashland, Alabama, and has been awaiting sentencing since pleading guilty to the federal drug charges in January of this year. He faces up to eight years in federal prison as well as property forfeiture.
“On behalf of Terrell Davis and his family, we strongly urge you to grant clemency for Mr. Davis, who is serving federal time for nonviolent marijuana offense,” the artists wrote, per Forbes.
The 26-year-old was quoted thanking his peers for “supporting my clemency because it’s just not right that corporations are allowed to violate federal law and become millionaires while people like myself go to prison for years.”
“This is hypocrisy,” he said. “But I am hopeful that Joe Biden will honor his campaign promise and grant us clemency, without delay, so that we can return home to our families and communities.”
Others stars who have signed this motion include music executives Dame Dash, Pierre “Pee” Thomas, former and current athletes Deion Sanders, J.R. Smith, Stephen Jackson, and more. It’s unclear whether the president will address this case.
Link to original Atlanta Black Star