Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Calls On Pres. Biden To Free Pot Prisoners, Cancel Student Debt — Is He Listening?

Warren said that marijuana enforcement has disproportionately affected people of color. “It’s time for us to acknowledge that and just admit the error of our ways.”

By Maureen Meehan

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) called on President Joe Biden once again to legalize cannabis and expunge the records of nonviolent marijuana offenders, and to cancel student loan debt.

In an interview on the podcast, “Pod Save America,” Warren stressed that both of these actions are the best ways to bridge racial inequality and support the economy.

Photo by Karen Ducey/Stringer/Getty Images

On non-violent marijuana charges, Warren said she’d like to see records expunged and incarcerated non-violent pot prisoners go free. She stressed the importance of expungement.

“They have a better chance of getting jobs, they have a better chance of getting promotions, they can apply for scholarships that would otherwise be denied them. In other words, what’s your best resource as a nation? It’s your people,” Warren said. “These people who should be part of our economy, part of our society.”

She added that marijuana enforcement has disproportionately affected people of color. “It’s time for us to acknowledge that and just admit the error of our ways,” Warren said.

A sizable group of top cannabis company CEOs recently called on President Biden to issue pardons to non-violent pot prisoners as well.

Student Debt

The Massachusetts Senator stressed that student debt is also a racial justice issue, citing a study, which revealed that statistically, 20 years out of college, white people owe on average about 6% of what they borrowed.

RELATED: Biden Exploring Clemency For Non-Violent Federal Drug Inmates, Advocates Want All Pot Prisoners Released

But if you’re Black, Warren said, you owe 95% of what you borrowed when you were in school 20 years out.

Photo by Element5 Digital via Unsplash

Indeed, a Brookings report concluded that “new evidence that racial gaps in total [student] debt are far larger than even recent reports have recognized… and correlated with troubling trends in the economy and in the for-profit sector.”

Student loan debt holds tens of millions of people back from starting small businesses, buying their first homes and being “full participants” in the U.S. economy, Warren said.

RELATED: Al Harrington, Drake, Killer Mike Ask Pres. Biden To Pardon All Non-Violent Cannabis Offenders

“Part of me wants to say, ‘damn 20 years and you’re still paying on this stuff’, but end is in sight,” she noted, adding, “This is the single best opportunity for the president of the United States to help close the Black/white wealth gap for people who have student loan debt.”

When asked why Biden hasn’t done either yet, Warren said she hopes that it’s just that he hasn’t had the time.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.



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