Coronavirus And Cannabis: Law Enforcement Officials, Medical Professionals And Clergy Call For Stopping Arrests, Releasing Prisoners

The following open letter was sent out by the Marijuana Policy Project, Last Prisoner Project, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, National Cannabis Industry Association, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

Washington, D.C. — The Marijuana Policy Project and other organizations are urging law enforcement officials to dramatically curtail arrests for non-violent crimes, including ceasing arrests for cannabis offenses. In addition to curtailing arrests, the organizations are calling for officials to release or grant clemency to those incarcerated for cannabis offenses along with dramatically reducing the number of incarcerated non-violent prisoners, whether sentenced or un-sentenced.

The Marijuana Policy Project, Last Prisoner Project, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, National Cannabis Industry Association, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) have sent a letter calling for these actions to the National District Attorneys Association, National Governors Association, National Sheriffs’ Association, National Association of Chiefs of Police, National Correctional Industries Association, American Correctional Association, and AFSCME.

Public health experts have warned that the coronavirus poses an extreme threat not only to inmates, but also to the staff that serve them, as well as to their families and communities. The conditions in prisons and jails, such as sharing small cells, going into crowded day rooms, and sleeping just feet away from toilets, are known to cause disease and infection to run rampant. Jails are already seeing a spike in …

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