Democratic presidential candidate Andrew YangAndrew YangVideo of Andrew Yang dancing to the ‘Cupid Shuffle’ in South Carolina goes viral The Hill’s Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape Poll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April MORE promised a “mass pardon” to those imprisoned for nonviolent marijuana convictions.
Yang told the crowd at a Concord, New Hampshire event hosted by the ACLU Friday, “I’m going to mass pardon everyone who is in jail for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses,” according to Fox News.
Yang’s campaign site says he supports the full legalization of marijuana at the federal level as well as removing it from the controlled substances list. He also calls on his website to expunge federal convictions of all marijuana-related use or possession offenses.
“Americans now recognize just how broken our mass incarceration system is and how much progress we need to make,” Yang told the crowd on Friday.
Yang first made headlines for his proposal to give mass pardons for marijuana convictions in April of this year, when many still considered the candidate — who recently qualified for the fall debates — a longshot.
“I would legalize marijuana and then I would pardon everyone who’s in jail for a nonviolent drug-related offense,” Yang said at the National Action Network conference in New York City in April. “I would pardon them on April 20, 2021 and I would high-five them on the way out of jail.”
I’m for full legalization of marijuana. I would go a step further and on 4/20, 2021, exactly 2 years from today, I would pardon everyone who’s in jail for a low-level, non-violent marijuana offense and I would high five them on their way out of jail. pic.twitter.com/Q8txZNa2I1
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) April 20, 2019
Marijuana legalization has been championed by a number of 2020 Democrats, with several also offering bills and proposals to expunge records of those charged with using or possessing small amounts of marijuana.
Earlier this year fellow candidate Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert Inslee13 states file lawsuit over Trump ‘public charge’ rule Harris unveils plan to combat domestic terrorism 2020 Democrats release joint statement ahead of Trump’s New Hampshire rally MORE also granted official pardons to thousands of Washington residents convicted of low-level possession charges.
The issue has gained national attention as recreational marijuana has been legalized at the state level in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Medical marijuana has been legalized in 33 states.