O'Rourke unveils plan to legalize marijuana, end war on drugs

Presidential hopeful Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke eyes stronger enforcement of Emoluments Clause, limits to pardons Poll: Biden holds 10-point lead nationally over Warren Authorities seize weapons from alleged neo-Nazi leader under 'red flag' law MORE on Thursday unveiled a plan to legalize marijuana and end the war on drugs.

The former Texas congressman would grant clemency to those currently serving sentences for marijuana possession, establish a model for marijuana legalization and give grants to those affected by the war on drugs to help them benefit from the new industry.

The “Drug War Justice Grants” would be given to those formerly incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana offenses in state and federal prison.

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Licenses to produce, distribute or sell marijuana would be funneled to minority-owned businesses and fees would be waived for low-income individuals who had previously been convicted of related offenses.

“We need to not only end the prohibition on marijuana, but also repair the damage done to the communities of color disproportionately locked up in our criminal justice system or locked out of opportunity because of the War on Drugs,” O'Rourke said in a statement.

“These inequalities have compounded for decades, as predominantly white communities have been given the vast majority of lucrative business opportunities, while communities of color still face over-policing and criminalization. It’s our responsibility to begin to remedy the injustices of the past and help the people and communities most impacted by this misguided war.”

Several other Democratic contenders have backed legalizing marijuana and expunging the records of those incarcerated for nonviolent related offenses.

The push to legalize marijuana at the federal level follows more than half of state governments legalizing or decriminalizing the substance.