Do Marijuana Prisoners Deserve Amnesty?
Published on 4/29/15
With the discussion of legalizing in almost every state senate, the question always follows, "What happens to the people already incarcerated for the laws we're reconsidering?" Since 2014 the Deputy Attorney General has helped prisoners by reviewing sentences that would be sentenced shorter today, including both crack offenders and single marijuana offenses. Mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences have created this mass incarceration problem, that hopefully current legislators allow to be fixed.
In 2014, then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced a Justice Department initiative to review the petitions of federal prisoners serving sentences longer than what they'd receive if sentenced today, and to grant clemency to those whose early release would not compromise public safety. The second wave of clemencies granted since the initiative launched included both crack offenders and a single marijuana offender.