President Biden’s marijuana expungement announcement is missing the mark, according to protestors
A couple of weeks ago, President Joe Biden announced plans to pardon people related to cannabis possession and misdemeanors. While this news caused great joy among many Americans, the president has not provided many updates on the next steps to be taken. As a result, a group of protesters kicked off this week by planting themselves in front of the White House to protest the Biden administration’s inaction to free prisoners incarcerated for marijuana possession.
On October 6, POTUS announced that it was initiating processes to implement mass pardons at the federal level for people who have been convicted of cannabis possession. While the news was well received, so far, there have been no reports that any prisoners have been released, and that makes the protesters more than a little annoyed.
Organizers took care to emphasize statements Biden had made during the fifth Democratic debate in 2019. This recording played on a loop in the background during most of the protest activities.
“Number one. I think we should decriminalize marijuana, period,” Biden said in the recorded debate statements. “Anyone who has a record should be let out of jail and their records expunged. Everyone gets out, record expunged.”
Adam Eidinger is the head of the community activist group DC Marijuana Justice (DCMJ), which organized the protest at the White House. Eidinger led efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in DC in 2014. He was also joined by members of the Last Prisoner Project, Steve DeAngelo, co-founder of Harborside in Oakland, CA, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Rap star M1, part of the popular underground hip-hop rap duo Dead Prez, also wanted to be heard. He claims Biden told a bald-faced lie that he would release all cannabis prisoners and expunge the registries. It remains to be seen what the Oval Office’s response will be now that the protesters have made it clear they will not stand idly by.