Mike Tyson Urges President to Keep His Word

Stephen Andrews
20 Feb 2024

The former boxing champ has urged U.S. president Joe Biden to release thousands of cannabis convicts who remain in federal prison despite promises made that they will be pardoned. Tyson, a boxer turned cannabis entrepreneur, has called the president to “end cannabis prohibition once and for all.”

Even though President Biden pledged to release thousands from federal prisons, a significant number of non-violent cannabis offenders unfairly remain behind bars. 

In an interview with The Guardian, Tyson has urged Biden to stay true to his words and “correct our country’s failed approach to marijuana” by letting out those who are still locked up.

No One Should Be Sitting in Jail for Weed, Says Tyson

Biden has been much criticized by justice campaigners over his misleading messaging concerning pardons of convicts as well as his failed presidential campaign pledge to decriminalize cannabis.  

Mike Tyson is the latest celebrity that urges the U.S. president to take action on releasing eligible cannabis convicts. 

“President Biden has the power to effect real change – he can right these wrongs and grant clemency to those who are sitting in prison for cannabis,” Tyson told The Guardian.

“We know the failed war on drugs was wrong and no one should be sitting in jail for cannabis. It’s time our country moves forward and end cannabis prohibition once and for all,” he said.  

According to the report from The Guardian, Tyson also sent a letter to the White House on Tuesday, Feb. 20, which says that it is high time the authorities reconcile with communities that historically have been most affected by the War on Drugs. 

Biden’s pardon was supposed to result in the release of around 6,000 people stuck in federal prisons for low-level, non-violent, cannabis breaches of the law. But at least 2,000 individuals continue to serve time there for offences that are just not fair with the new reality. 

As a reminder, cannabis is headed to become a $40bn worth per annum industry in the United States. Some of the offenders were put in jail for carrying small amounts of weed that are now entirely legal to have on your person, in line with laws from legal states. 

Biden has also called state governors to release those prisoners who are serving time in state prisons for equivalent, non-violent cannabis offenses. Only a few governors have implemented measures that would help this group of incarcerated people, which concerns more than 30,000 cases.  

The lack of progress in offering relief to incarcerated individuals has also been noted in a recent Cannabis Justice Report. 

Prepared by the Last Prisoner Project, the report was issued on the first anniversary of Biden’s historic speech from Oct. 2022 where he promised pardons for non-violent cannabis offenders, and which initiated the federal review process of marijuana. 

The report acknowledges that justice is slow to be implemented and that thousands of individuals eligible for pardon have not been released to freedom. 

Also read on Soft Secrets:

- New Report Notes Slow Progress on Cannabis Justice

- Biden Extends Marijuana Pardons

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Stephen Andrews