Andrew Yang promises mass pardon to those imprisoned for nonviolent marijuana offenses

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew YangAndrew YangNew Quinnipiac poll finds Biden leading in New Hampshire Intercollegiate athletics just got a two-minute warning AI and automation will disrupt our world — but only Andrew Yang is warning about it MORE promised a "mass pardon" to those imprisoned for nonviolent marijuana convictions. 

Yang told the crowd at a Concord, N.H., event hosted by the ACLU on 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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, when many still considered the candidate — who recently qualified for the fall debates a long shot

"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."

 

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 presidential candidate Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeO'Rourke ends presidential bid Sunrise Movement organizer: Sanders, Warren boast strongest climate change plans Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate 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.