Presidential candidate and former Texas Congressmember Beto O’Rourke announced today that he supports a program in which the federal government issues “Drug War Justice Grants” for those who were formerly or are currently incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses.
The program is part of O’Rourke’s plan to legalize marijuana: It would be funded by the taxes he would place on marijuana sales.
Although O’Rourke certainly isn’t the only candidate to support legalizing marijuana, he is the first to support a grant program for those affected by the failing war on drugs, particularly marijuana.
As noted by Politico, if elected O’Rourke pledges to use clemency power to release people now serving sentences for marijuana possession, and he called for expunging the records of those convicted of possession. He also proposed removing cannabis-related charges as grounds for deporting people or denying them citizenship.
“We need to not only end the prohibition on marijuana but also repair the damage done to the communities of color disproportionately locked up in our criminal justice system or locked out of opportunity because of the War on Drugs,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “These inequalities have compounded for decades, as predominantly white communities have been given