On the 4th of July weekend when we are celebrating our freedom from British Imperial rule 243 years ago, we should be thinking about Freedom.
For nearly 100 years, the US Government has waged a war on drugs that has stolen freedom from millions of Americans. The lies about the effective use of cannabis for medical conditions began under Harry Anslinger in the 1930s.
The War on Drugs instituted by President Richard Nixon by the admission of Nixon aide John Ehrlichman created a divide in the nation and disempowered the young and minority communities who were regular users of marijuana by criminalizing their recreational use. And of course when you make criminal behavior that has medical benefit, those taking cannabis as medicine suffer also.
Increases in funding for the War on Drugs under President Ronald Reagan and the targeting of minority communities for enforcement of drug laws has created a lopsided system of incarceration where minorities are the majority population in state and federal prisons.
“Three Strikes” and other federal laws around the War on Drugs passed under President Bill Clinton only served to increase the non-violent offender population of jail and incarcerated hundreds of thousands of Americans for mere possession charges.
Beyond the counter-culture of the 1960s and 1970s, there are various traditions among hundreds of cultures across the planet that celebrate the medical and social uses of cannabis but due to the influence of the US Government waging the War on Drugs, most countries still keep cannabis illegal.
Illinois has become the first state to legislatively correct the laws around marijuana, including civil justice for formerly incarcerated or otherwise punished by unfair laws.
We have only some measure of justice by the passage of the Farm Bill in 2014 that has allowed CBD to be available across the country and is allowing the expansion of the use of hemp fibers in construction, clothing, and other useful items. The use of any of the various components of THC is still illegal and thousands of Americans are sitting behind prison walls for possession.
The theft of fathers and mothers from their children has created a cycle for generations that stunted families through unfair laws and that will be reversed.
Along with my 10 points for Criminal Justice Reform, my intent is to make sure that those who were disproportionally targeted and made criminal by the War on Drugs will have justice for decades of injustice.
Therefore I, if elected as President will be to make my first Executive Order, directly within an hour of taking the oath of office, to order the DEA to change the classification of Marijuana from a Class I drug to a Class III drug and make an across the board pardon of ANY federal marijuana conviction.
This will be the effect of the beginning of the end of the War on Drugs.