At a press conference at the National Press Club on Friday, representatives of Institute of the Black World, as well as Rev. Jesse Jackson, Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, and others met to look at the impact that our nation’s failed war on drugs has had on minorities. One of the ideas mentioned most frequently to eliminate some of the negative effects of the drug war was to remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
While this is not a very radical statement, and does not address the problems associated with maintaining criminalization of the marijuana market, it is definitely a step in the right direction. It was little surprising coming from Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), who said he had never made such a statement before:
Good for you, Rep. Conyers! Now we just need the rest of Congress to come around.