“Drug War Has Failed” – Governor to Pardon Thousands of People Convicted for Pot

vermont-pardonBy Matt Agorist

Montpelier, VT — Those members of government who are willing to challenge the status quo and stand against injustice are few and far between. Those members of government who not only stand against injustice but take action to reverse are all but entirely mythical. However, Vermont governor Peter Shumlin is one of those people.

Peter Shumlin just announced one of the boldest moves by a politician in recent history — he is going to pardon thousands of people whose lives were ruined by the war on drugs.

“Today I am announcing an effort using the Governor’s pardoning power to expedite our move to a saner drug policy and criminal justice system,” the Governor said on Thursday. “Decriminalization was a good first step in updating our outmoded drug laws. It makes no sense that minor marijuana convictions should tarnish the lives of Vermonters indefinitely.”

According to the most recent data in 2014, police arrested 1,561,231 people for drug violations in a single year — 83 percent were possession only. Of that 1.5 million, 700,993 arrests were for marijuana — 88 percent of those arrests were for people possessing the plant only.

“It could have happened in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s. There are thousands of them,” said Shumlin.

Year after year, and now, decade after decade, millions of otherwise entirely innocent people have been deprived of their freedom, kidnapped, had their lives ruined, were thrown in a cage, or killed by police officers who are just doing their job while enforcing this immoral war on drugs.

Given these numbers, everyone in America is either related to or knows someone who has been arrested for drugs. An unfortunate minority have even seen their family members or friends slain in the name of this immoral war. The effects of police ruining so many lives enforcing drug laws have created the hostile environment in which we find ourselves today.

For those who were caught with an amazingly beneficial plant, many of them had their lives ruined as the mark on their permanent records has left them unable to find work — thus increasing their chances of turning to a life of crime.

Shumlin’s program seeks to reverse this dangerous and immoral cycle.

“We’ve got folks who got charged for an ounce or less of marijuana in a different era when we were running a failed war on drugs. Let’s give those folks the opportunity to have a clean record,” Shumlin said.

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Unfortunately, for the rest of the United States, this program is only available in Vermont.

According to WCAX, the deal is as follows: if you’ve been convicted in Vermont of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana, the governor is asking you to go to his website between now and Christmas to apply for a pardon. The offer is only being extended to applicants who do not have violent offenses or felonies on their records.

“As governor, I’ve been trying to lead a more sane drug policy,” Shumlin said.

Those who wish to have their records wiped clean need only fill out a small form on the governor’s website, here.

pardon
“Each application will be considered individually, and there is no guarantee of a pardon,” notes the governor’s office.

“However, I will try to get through as many as possible before the end of my administration on January 5th,” Gov. Shumlin said. “This is the right thing to do.”

As states legalize marijuana at an ever increasing rate, what was once illegal in many states is now legal. However, no governor thus far has mentioned releasing those who are currently incarcerated for the plant nor pardoning those who’ve been released. The time to do this is now.

“And there’s some injustice in not having the new rules apply to those who are having their lives held back because of the old rules,” Shumlin said, setting the bar for governors in legal states.

Hopefully, they will heed his advice.

Please share this article with your friends and family so that they may help push other lawmakers to do the same — and help right so many decades of wrongs.

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Matt Agorist is the co-founder of TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. . and now on Steemit


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12 Comments on "“Drug War Has Failed” – Governor to Pardon Thousands of People Convicted for Pot"

  1. Better late than never. Now (in regards to pardoning everyone wrongly convicted of any non-violent cannabis infraction) only 49 more states to go…

  2. Living in CO, I’m aware of govt officials from around the world coming here to take notes on how to re-create the CO model in their nations. It’s a well organized effort. Soros et al are behind this project. Lots of interesting motives.

    • That’s right. Soros deserves accolades for funding Prop. 215 in 1996 in California, and for the next 10 years, funding the Drug Policy Institute to continue to find some brave state(s) to pass medical cannabis laws. Dr. Tod Mikuriya is a Saint for hanging in for 40+ years in his attempt to make cannabis available for medical necessity, and each and every medical doctor who recommended medical cannabis in California for the first 10 years is a HERO. All of you looking back over 20 years have no idea what the first 10 years were like.

      • Great points about the long battles, See Janus. Lots of heroes fighting for medical freedom and most will never be widely known, fighting locally and in their states for years, enduring harassment, targeting, even bankruptcy. My visceral feelings of angst and hope encircle all of the battles, big and small, humble unknown souls, intellectual giants, natural health and Neo/Trinity medical academic types trying to fight the Matrix from the inside (like me ;-)). It takes all of us working together, no question about it. Regarding Soros, I have to say IF he was funding the legalization of marijuana for purely benevolent reasons, then I would have to praise the effort. Although, I would “bet the farm” his motives are about social engineering and statist control over a natural health and personal liberty issue. The Hegelian dialectic always in play, two dichotomous faces on every issue – kinda like the god Janus, 😉 (a favorite Eddysachs metaphor). It’s tough to ride that duality and not slip off into a crevasse of perspectives. Rockefeller allopathic medicine is a bad model, although, the disciplined organization of it has produced some remarkably effective treatments. Always those tricky double edged swords, some a lot sharper on one edge than the other (lol). Since my training in my 20s, I’ve been a vociferous critic of the corruption, group think, arrogance, and greed in establishment medicine. Still, many smart awake people who learn of my professional background automatically think I’m a Scientism Kool-Aid drinking zombie. Ha! If everyone could communicate and work together in a completely unfettered way it would be a very different and wonderful world.

        • I’ve read too many of your posts, Blue 579, to think of you as other than an open minded, positive, Light being. I can assure you that the Open Society organization funded by Soros did fund several very important juvenile justice reforms that I know about, and again, accolades to George Soros. The decriminalization of cannabis made a lot of sense for many reasons, and at the time there were so many folks that were self medicating with cannabis, it was an effrontery to justice to keep locking sick people up. The legalization of cannabis puts cannabis on an equal playing field with alcohol. Prohibition doesn’t work. 70% of patented medicine in the 1920’s contained cannabis.

          • Thank you for the kind words, Janus. I assure you the assessment is mutual. 🙂 I’m not surprised Open Society is doing good works too, as most of the gatekeeper organizations and the American government itself certainly attract a lot of well meaning individuals who truly want to serve the greater good and devote their lives to doing just that. I try not to look at systems and problems with only black and white lenses, as shades of gray are perhaps the most important to study to identify long term patterns with optimal clarity. IMO, there’s often too much “lightening rod” reporting even on obvious duplicitous bad actors such as Kissinger. It’s the systems we need to analyze to recognize the strong undercurrents driving us in unhealthy directions. My take on one of the most powerful currents driving legalization exactly dovetails with your wise description, as it truly was a glaring effrontery to justice to abuse the sick and dying seeking Mother’s Nature’s remedy. TPTB pick their battles too, it seems. As always, much thanks for your insight. Cheers, Blue.

  3. The good folks of Colorado went toe to toe with the system and won.
    Of course in my town the council thinks they have the right to not allow retail outlets. They even put it on the ballot (again) and a confusing NO vote meant you were in favor of retail and it still passed by 60%. So now they have no choice.
    Come to Colorado and imbibe for the health of it whilst watching gorgeous sunsets.

    Blue579 – 4th gen native to Colorado here.

    .

    • As recently as days before legalized cannabis passed in Colorado, the Colorado Sheriff’s Association and Colorado District Attorneys were encouraging thousands of arrests. Colorado is a fascist police state. The cops partner with organized crime to distribute and sell drugs, and it’s a huge revenue source. Private prison lobbyists and prison guard organizations want those nice, harmless pot heads taking up room in Colorado prisons. The DOC is hugely powerful and a big employer. While roads were rent dangerous with pot holes, cops were busy buying new boats and 3rd and 4th pickup trucks and oversized vehicles. The 5+ million new urbanites in Colorado since 2006 helped turned the state around. Now, if Colorado would come to respect knowledge and law and pull its educational institution out of the dumps, they may graduate a few who can go out of state to college. In 2007, 70% of high school graduates in Colorado didn’t qualify to even apply for out of state colleges.

    • Howdy, Sally! Fourth gen Coloradoan here too! 🙂 Love those gorgeous mountains and sunsets. Proud to live in the birth place of the Libertarian party and proud of the state level push back against gun grabbers. Cheers!

  4. It’s a nice gesture. He’s going to try to pardon “as many as possible before I leave office”. What about the ones he won’t have time to get to? Why didn’t he start earlier? While I’m all for what he’s doing, it sure would suck to be one of those left behind because time ran out…..

  5. IMO this is a nice person but here is the thing.

    Why is he not letting the other governor of the prison put his finger on the button of the keyboard of his computer and let him produce a listing with all the people with the conditions he mentioned and send these people home. Thru his computerized system he is able to release all those people.
    IMO this governor shall not play politics with these people about prison/freedom.
    Why so bureaucratic?

    Q is, do all these people have a computer? do all these people understand what he is saying?
    What if somebody is half an hour late to apply?

    If it is all true what a wonderful Xmas for the release people from prison.
    And here we can observe a politician with INITIATIVE and for the people?

    Does anybody know what this governer’s next job will be?

  6. Should those still in jail out too, right now.

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