Why we’re protesting President Biden today

Why we’re protesting President Biden today

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This entry has been published on October 24, 2022 and may be out of date.

SSDP Student Leaders and allies to protest President Biden’s lack of follow through on campaign promise to release cannabis prisoners





Washington D.C. – Student leaders from across the country will converge on the White House for a  rally for cannabis clemency on October 24th at the gates of the White House starting at 10:00 AM. They will be joined by Hip Hop Legends M1 of Dead Prez, Redman, Donte West of the Last Prisoner Project, Kristin Flor of Freedom Grow who lost her father while he was incarcerated for cannabis, Last Prisoner Project founder Steve Deangelo, Adam Ediinger of DC Marijuana Justice and Kris Furnish of Maryland Marijuana Justice.  

The action is being organized by  Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), the Last Prisoner Project (LPP) and DC and Maryland Marijuana Justice (DCMJ/MDMJ). 

The activists will gather around the Andrew Jackson statue before engaging in expected civil disobedience nearby to draw attention to the lack of people released from federal prison as a result of President Biden’s recent executive order on cannabis possession. The Biden administration has admitted that his executive action will not release a single person currently incarcerated for cannabis offenses.  

On November 21st 2019 at a nationally televised debate President Biden declared  “Number one, I think we need to decriminalize marijuana. PERIOD. And I think, anyone who has a record should be let out of jail, records expunged. Completely zeroed out.” 

There will be zero people released as a result of president Biden’s executive order. 

“Biden’s tough on crime policies in the 90s resulted in extreme sentences being handed down for non-violent drug crimes.” Said Jason Ortiz, Executive Director of SSDP. He added “Biden promised to release these prisoners to address his role in creating mass incarceration and the cannabis community has a moral obligation to hold his feet to the fire until our friends are reunited with their families.” 

“I am risking arrest today because I feel betrayed by the false promises of elected officials like President Biden, whose political career has contributed to mass incarceration. I hope that our act of civil disobedience today leads to the release of unjustly imprisoned humans who are suffering under our countries immoral cannabis policies.” Justin Ayala, UC Santa Cruz

“Its sickening that thousands of people of color are sitting in prisons, while countless white men are making millions of dollars off doing the same thing.” Kat Ebert, SSDP Board Chai

“We are representing thousands of young people across the country that believe in our power to bring our family and friends home. The Biden administration has failed us and we demand all 420 prisoners are released.”  Maya Tatum, Immediate Past Board Chair, Arizona State Chapter

“I’m here because it’s way past time to expunge the record of all cannabis prisoners! This isn’t radical, this isn’t idealistic, it’s straight from the mouth of the president of the United States.” Maya Seale, UT Dallas

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact of drug misuse on our communities, but who also know that the “War on Drugs” is failing our generation and our society. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future. SSDP does this while fighting back against counterproductive policies – in particular, those that directly harm students and youth.