Earlier this month, President Biden announced federal pardons for people convicted of possession of marijuana and asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services to reclassify the drug. He stated “no one should be in jail for using or possessing marijuana.” In response, Emancipate NC released the following statement:

Emancipate NC affirms that the ongoing prosecution of marijuana is racist and contrary to good policy. All around North Carolina, law enforcement continue to use the pretext of the odor of weed to harass and search disproportionately Black and brown motorists and residents, wreaking terror on our neighborhoods and burdening our people with criminal convictions and their collateral consequences. Meanwhile, white people enjoy cannabis products without consequences. With the legalization of hemp, the odor of cannabis does not even necessarily signify illegal activity, and it certainly does not signify any public safety risk.

Emancipate NC calls upon Governor Cooper to pardon anyone convicted of simple possession of marijuana or paraphernalia and to release anyone currently serving time. Emancipate NC calls upon the district attorneys in North Carolina to discontinue the prosecution of personal quantities of marijuana and upon law enforcement to stop arresting people for personal marijuana possession. Emancipate NC calls upon the General Assembly of North Carolina to legalize marijuana immediately. Racial justice demands this outcome and we will not rest until it is achieved.

Visit our resource website to learn more about Team Emancipate’s Don’t Plead to Weed campaign.