Home / Be The Change / ‘Drug War has Failed’ Governor to Pardon Thousands of People Convicted for Pot

‘Drug War has Failed’ Governor to Pardon Thousands of People Convicted for Pot

pardon

Montpelier, VT — Those members of government who are willing to challenge the status quo and stand against injustice are few and far between. Those members of government who not only stand against injustice but take action to reverse are all but entirely mythical. However, Vermont governor Peter Shumlin is one of those people.

Peter Shumlin just announced one of the boldest moves by a politician in recent history — he is going to pardon thousands of people whose lives were ruined by the war on drugs.

“Today I am announcing an effort using the Governor’s pardoning power to expedite our move to a saner drug policy and criminal justice system,” the Governor said on Thursday. “Decriminalization was a good first step in updating our outmoded drug laws. It makes no sense that minor marijuana convictions should tarnish the lives of Vermonters indefinitely.”

According to the most recent data in 2014, police arrested 1,561,231 people for drug violations in a single year — 83 percent were possession only. Of that 1.5 million, 700,993 arrests were for marijuana — 88 percent of those arrests were for people possessing the plant only.

“It could have happened in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s. There are thousands of them,” said Shumlin.

Year after year, and now, decade after decade, millions of otherwise entirely innocent people have been deprived of their freedom, kidnapped, had their lives ruined, were thrown in a cage, or killed by police officers who are just doing their job while enforcing this immoral war on drugs.

Given these numbers, everyone in America is either related to or knows someone who has been arrested for drugs. An unfortunate minority have even seen their family members or friends slain in the name of this immoral war. The effects of police ruining so many lives enforcing drug laws have created the hostile environment in which we find ourselves today.

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For those who were caught with an amazingly beneficial plant, many of them had their lives ruined as the mark on their permanent records has left them unable to find work — thus increasing their chances of turning to a life of crime.

Shumlin’s program seeks to reverse this dangerous and immoral cycle.

“We’ve got folks who got charged for an ounce or less of marijuana in a different era when we were running a failed war on drugs. Let’s give those folks the opportunity to have a clean record,” Shumlin said.

Unfortunately, for the rest of the United States, this program is only available in Vermont.

According to WCAX, the deal is as follows: if you’ve been convicted in Vermont of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana, the governor is asking you to go to his website between now and Christmas to apply for a pardon. The offer is only being extended to applicants who do not have violent offenses or felonies on their records.

“As governor, I’ve been trying to lead a more sane drug policy,” Shumlin said.

Those who wish to have their records wiped clean need only fill out a small form on the governor’s website, here.

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“Each application will be considered individually, and there is no guarantee of a pardon,” notes the governor’s office.

“However, I will try to get through as many as possible before the end of my administration on January 5th,” Gov. Shumlin said. “This is the right thing to do.”

As states legalize marijuana at an ever increasing rate, what was once illegal in many states is now legal. However, no governor thus far has mentioned releasing those who are currently incarcerated for the plant nor pardoning those who’ve been released. The time to do this is now.

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“And there’s some injustice in not having the new rules apply to those who are having their lives held back because of the old rules,” Shumlin said, setting the bar for governors in legal states.

Hopefully, they will heed his advice.

Please share this article with your friends and family so that they may help push other lawmakers to do the same — and help right so many decades of wrongs.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. and now on Steemit
  • Mikenfaye

    Amen,but I haven’t heard of anyone going to prison for less than an ounce of Pot unless they had a prior record or were dealing. Maybe there were some but even at the height of our insane “war on drugs” this would have been unusual so I don;t think there will be many who qualify for a pardon.

    • The Cat’s Vagina

      I have. A friend of my brother’s got caught with less than a quarter ounce and was charged with “distribution” because he’d bought three bags from someone who only sold it by the dime. The only way they’d let him plead it down to misdemeanor possession was if he agreed to wear a wire and sting his dealer. He turned them down in favor of another plea bargain that gave him five years plus twenty on probation instead of the full twenty-five he was facing.

      Having a drug felony on his record COMPLETELY ruined his life because now he not only can’t get any kind of decent job, but is also cut off from all forms of public assistance and his PO won’t let him move to a state that would help him. Clearly, he doesn’t live anywhere near Vermont.

      • Marvin H

        Sounds like your friend needed a better attorney. That’s an absurd punishment for less than a quarter oz. What state was this?

        • The Cat’s Vagina

          Alabama… and he couldn’t afford anything but a public defender.

          • Vincent D’Emidio

            Well, what do you expect? Alabama is part of the “Saouth” (misspelled on purpose) — you know, the most, ah, “intelligent” part of the country!

            I only wish that President Lincoln allowed those Rednecks to secede over 100 years ago, when they threatened to do so. Think of how much more progressive this country would’ve ben without those Yokels running their big, prejudiced mouths!

          • Greg Geitner

            how many big, prejudiced mouths live north of the mason-dixon line?

          • Vincent D’Emidio

            We have our share, but at least in New York, prejudicial thinking is not the norm, as it is in Johnnie Reb land.

          • Greg Geitner

            cant argue. never been to new york. i have lived in the deep south. question- which is worse, hidden racism or blatant racism?

          • Vincent D’Emidio

            Blatant racism is much worse because, with veiled racism, at least the prejudiced person is showing a modicum of respect to you. The blatant racist usually has no manners, and shows no respect for his fellow man.

          • Greg Geitner

            thank you for your reply.

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      Don’t you realize that some pigs — oops! I meant, ah, “cops” — will LIE constantly and manufacture evidence in order to make their arrests stick? It has happened to me, and many others.

      • Mikenfaye

        Yep, I do.

  • The Cat’s Vagina

    “The offer is only being extended to applicants who do not have violent offenses or felonies on their records.”

    What about felony pot possession?

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  • Sam Fox

    More poison fruit from the War On Some Drugs bitter tree. Marijuana is illegal because of a manipulated Congress of the time, lies, distortions & fear based propaganda. People need to find out the WHY & HOW of pot being made illegal when there was NEVER a good reason to do so.

    Look up victims of the drug war. Drug War Rant is a good site for a start. Lots of innocent people have died because of wrong address busts by SWATers. Many more die from LEGAL Rx crap than what is illegal. Anyone see a war on Rx junk? Ahh, the hypocrisy!

    Then there are all the dead because of cartels & street gangs fighting for turf & such. All this blood is on the hands of the prohibs & those that support the WOSD attack on the Bill Of Rights.
    Any one notice how well Portugal is doing after they changed from a ‘it’s a crime problem’ to ‘it’s a medical issue’?

    SamFox

  • Gaylen Allen Anderson

    Ya sure, you let them pot smokers out and the whole country will go to pot!

    • Kris

      I assume that you only “know” the rhetoric coming from the prohibition side of the issue.

      • Vincent D’Emidio

        I believe that Gaylen was engaging in sarcasm.

  • Marvin H

    Meanwhile, the republicans are trying to make medical marijuana legal Tennessee… yes, the republicans.

    With the entire west coast now legal for recreational, it’s only a matter of time before prohibition ends and America does the right thing and makes this plant legal from coast to coast.

  • Joe Tittiger

    How about arresting every cop that made a drug arrest, and charge them with violating the rights of these people?

    We did the same thing to many Nazi’s. They were hanged from the neck until dead, despite the fact that they were “following the law” The Nuremberg trials showed us that if you are violating peoples rights that it does not matter if you are “following the law.” These criminal drug cops need to be served some justice.

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      I agree 100%!!!

    • Ed

      Not just cops, but all of the prohibitionists.

    • Genevieve Hawkins

      How about the prosecutors too?

    • Stone Calnen

      No reason to punish the police, what the fuck is wrong with you, it’s not like they killed millions of people

      • Vincent D’Emidio

        Oh, so killing hundreds of people is alright with you? Cops are P-I-G-S

    • Alantar

      Some Nazis were hanged – those who deceived the people and led the way.

      Most were not hanged. As much as we might sometimes want justice, it is not always desirable. If we hanged every person who had committed an offense worthy of hanging, would there be anyone left? There certainly would not be much of society left.

      Some cops should certainly go to jail for crimes committed under color of law, but it would not be wise to hang them – with possibly a few rare exceptions for those who misled the public or were overzealous.

  • patriot156

    Cool Wish more would do that

  • PithHelmut

    Hooray! First piece of good news by a “representative” I’ve heard all year! It was and still is a ridiculous notion to stop people from growing anything let alone a most beneficial plant. We need to get over this everywhere. These kidnappings need to be stopped entirely. We need to get out of our slave culture. But I congratulate Peter Shumlin!

  • Vincent D’Emidio

    It is obvious to me and everybody else EXCEPT bible-thumping, cop-loving ASSHOLES that Marijuana is harmless and the wave of the future!

  • Valerie Deloy Cudnik

    A large number of people convicted of ‘possession only’ actually have committed other crimes; possession is just easier to get a conviction on, much like arresting Capone for income tax evasion. For those truly jailed *only* for possession, I think it is a great thing. Just need to make sure in every single case and look at the arrest report and notes.