Federally Legalize Cannabis to Stop Unnecessary Incarceration

Target: Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader of the United States Senate

Goal: Decriminalize cannabis and stop the mass incarceration of people of color.

The use and possession of medical marijuana been legalized in more than half of the states throughout the U.S., and recreational marijuana has been legalized in 20 states. Despite majority public support for the legalization of cannabis on a federal level, legal authority has mainly been left to individual states.

The criminalization of cannabis has long plagued American society and has disproportionately affected people of color. For decades, the War on Drugs–marijuana included–has been used as a tool to target Black and brown communities and, despite the similar rates of marijuana use in whites, African Americans are about four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis offenses each year.

Marijuana use is not a problem of criminal justice, but rather of personal choice and health. Urge Congress to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level and to address important racial disparities.


Dear Senator Schumer,

For decades, the criminalization of cannabis has disproportionately targeted Black and brown communities. African Americans are four times more likely than whites to be incarcerated for cannabis use, despite similarities in usage rates. And this is no small price, as an estimated 600,000 Americans are arrested each year for cannabis use and possession.

The continued federal criminalization of marijuana perpetuates these racial disparities, contributing to the mass incarceration of people of color and the destruction of Black and brown families and communities. Despite public support for its legalization at a federal level, recreational cannabis use still remains criminalized in about 30 states.

We are asking you, Mr. Schumer, to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level, to advocate for Black and brown communities across America.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tony Webster

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