Former Vice President Joe Biden who is a 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, recently announced that he would “decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all prior cannabis use convictions.”

The move is a part of a “Plan For Black America” that his campaign released this week. Biden took to Twitter and wrote, “Today, I’m releasing a new plan to achieve equity for the African American community and take us one step closer to making America what it ought to be. Read more: https://medium.com/@JoeBiden/lift-every-voice-the-biden-plan-for-black-america-d546228da188 …”

“Today, too many people are incarcerated in the United States—and too many of them are African American,” the plan states. “To build safe and healthy communities, we need to rethink who we’re sending to prison, how we treat those in prison, and how we help them get the health care, education, jobs, and housing they need to successfully rejoin society after they serve their time. As President, Biden will strengthen America’s commitment to justice and reform our criminal justice system.”

“Considering the long violent history of the United States war on communities color, this plan is a half measure at best,” Jason Ortiz, president of the Minority Cannabis Business Association said to Marijuana Moment. “True equity for our communities would include an admission that our federal government committed a massive crime through the war on drugs, and a plan to undue that damage and make our communities whole.”

“True equity must include a release of all cannabis prisoners, massive community investment and a legal cannabis marketplace owned and operated primarily by people of color,” he added. “I’m not convinced Biden is there yet but we must all continue to push him for the sake our communities.”

“Biden’s plan calls for the decriminalization of cannabis and the end of all incarceration for drug abuse,” Ortiz said. “While that flies in stark contrast to the vice president’s record, it is a promising sign that more modern approaches to criminal justice are being discussed and taken seriously by his campaign.”

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