Petition to Biden and Trump: End marijuana prohibition

Donald Trump and Joe Biden

Never in American history has there been such an overwhelming consensus to end marijuana prohibition, yet neither major party nominee for President has committed to doing so.

Sign the petition to tell Joe Biden and Donald Trump to include ending the failed policy of federal marijuana prohibition to their platform.

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To: Donald Trump and Joe Biden
From: [Your Name]

Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation's nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition. According to nationwide polling data provided by Gallup, 67 percent of Americans support legalizing and regulating the adult-use of marijuana, including outright majority support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) represents the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who support replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of adult-use legalization and regulation, as well as the interests of those residing in the majority of US jurisdictions that have liberalized their own state-specific policies in a manner that is divergent from federal law.

The criminalization of marijuana financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant's medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color. Americans demand a President who recognizes this reality and who will seek to amend federal law in a manner that comports with scientific consensus, public opinion, and the plant’s rapidly evolving cultural status.

That is why we call on the two major party candidates to support the following changes in federal marijuana policy:

Deschedule. Expunge. Reinvest.

1) Deschedule the marijuana plant from the Controlled Substances Act so that states, not the federal government, are the primary regulators of marijuana policy and so that local governments (that wish to do so) can take steps to regulate the marijuana market unimpeded by the threat of undue federal interference. Utilize the bully pulpit to advocate Congress to prioritize and advance legislation similar to The MORE (Marijuana, Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement) Act to rectify existing state/federal conflicts over marijuana access, banking issues, and other related policies. Pledge to appoint federal officials in the positions of US Attorney General, Secretary of Health and Human Service, Director of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, and other relevant agencies who will no longer oppose efforts to bring about legislative and regulatory changes to federal marijuana policy -- including efforts to facilitate greater clinical research and exploration into marijuana’s therapeutic utility. Pledge to pursue executive actions to enact changes in federal marijuana policy when applicable.

2) Call for the automatic review of federal convictions specific to low-level marijuana-related offenses, and for the expungement and/or resentencing of these convictions when applicable. The stigma and loss of opportunities stemming from a marijuana conviction can last a lifetime. At a time when the nation is facing mass unemployment, the federal government can and should remove -- nor promote -- undue barriers to economic opportunity and prosperity.

3) Provide federal financial assistance to facilitate state and local governments to review and expunge non-violent marijuana convictions through the issuance of grants and other resources. Tens of millions of Americans currently carry the burden of a state-specific marijuana conviction. In many cases, these convictions are for activities now deemed legal under state laws. These individuals should no longer carry this undue stigma and the lost opportunities that go with it. While many state governments are now engaging in the process of reviewing and vacating some of these convictions, this process would be further facilitated with federal assistance, inducements, and resources.

4) Work to ensure that a portion of revenues derived from businesses in the marijuana sector are circulated and reinvested into those communities most adversely impacted by prohibition, and that the emerging legal industry creates pathways for ownership opportunities for local small businesses, as well as engage in practices that promote social justice and equity.