SALT LAKE CITY — A large group of hip-hop stars are joining a Utah prison reform activist in calling on President Biden to pardon non-violent cannabis offenders.
In a letter sent to the White House, Weldon Angelos and a large number of co-signers including Drake, Killer Mike, Ty Dolla $ign, T.I., 2 Chainz and others call for clemency and an unconditional pardon "to all persons subject to federal criminal or civil enforcement on the basis of non-violent marijuana offenses."
"Whatever one thinks of other drugs and other defendants, incarcerating marijuana offenders in federal prisons is a misuse of our nation’s resources and grossly hypocritical, given that a clear majority of Americans oppose marijuana prohibition and about half admit to using the drug during their lifetime," the letter said. "It also stands against the arc of history and the principle of federalism: nearly three-quarters of the states have now abandoned the federal government’s blanket criminal ban in favor of safe, regulated legal access to marijuana for adults and/or those with qualifying medical conditions."
Angelos, an up-and-coming rap producer who was based in Utah, was arrested for selling marijuana to an undercover informant. Because he also had a firearm, he was given a mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison of 55 years. Even the judge who sentenced him disagreed with the sentence and eventually resigned from the federal bench.
After 12 years in prison, Angelos was released and last year was pardoned by President Trump. He has since gone to work with Sen. Mike Lee and others to push for criminal justice system reforms.
"Enough is enough. No one should be locked up in federal prison for marijuana. No one should continue to bear the scarlet letter of a federal conviction for marijuana offenses," Angelos' letter said.
Read the full letter here: