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Another prisoner project urges New Jersey governor to release cannabis prisoners

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Advocates push Governor Phil Murphy to grant amnesty to nonviolent marijuana perpetrators in the state

Monday 10 January Another prisoner project Led a coalition in publishing open letter To New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. The letter urges Governor Murphy to grant amnesty to all marijuana offenders currently in prison in New Jersey. Although the state legalized cannabis for medical use in 2010, and adult use a decade later, the letter asserts that “hundreds are still being held or under supervision.”

Since 2019, The Last Prisoner Project has worked with families in states across the country to secure phone calls, Medicare, ancillary funds and legal fees for cannabis perpetrators. With New Jersey coming to market for adult use in 2022, the LPP is demanding justice for those still paying the cost of racial marijuana laws that have been unfairly enforced over decades.

The message reads:

“New Jersey is expected to generate up to $173.5 million annually in tax revenue from the sale of legal cannabis… (Meanwhile), hundreds are still languishing in state prison or continue to suffer the collateral consequences of cannabis-related crime in the state. ” The Prisoner’s Project’s Final Letter to the Governor of New Jersey

The coalition behind the Last Prisoner Project speech includes the New Jersey chapter of the NAACP, Newark rappers Redman, the New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association (NJCTA), the New Jersey Policy Perspective, and the New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition, among others.

Police marijuana arrest

Talking about the affected families

A New Jersey resident is Humberto Ramirez. Days after New Jersey residents voted to legalize recreational cannabis for adults in 2020, Ramirez was sentenced to seven years in prison for transporting six pounds of weed.

The charge removed a loving husband and devoted father from his family and put him behind bars at great cost to the state’s taxpayers. The Ramirez family continues to suffer daily while the state and other residents benefit from the plant.

In addition to calling for the hypocrisy of the legal market, advocates have also stressed the need for relief as COVID-19 ravages statewide prisons. Governor Murphy declared a state of emergency Tuesday as the omicron variant spread across the country. Because of protocols that have continued throughout the pandemic, residents like Ramirez have been prevented from seeing their loved ones and unable to get proper medical care.

While The Last Prisoner Project acknowledges that New Jersey has taken positive steps with “provisions allowing for automatic write-offs and limited re-sentencing,” the nonprofit asserts that “current efforts must be accelerated so that the cases of those still imprisoned for cannabis-related offenses are addressed.” Connection in New Jersey before others start making profits.”

The incalculable human cost

The letter tells Governor Murphy that the current pandemic “underscores the urgent need to intelligently and safely reduce the prison population.” In addition to the pandemic, the letter cites the long-term harm that prolonged confinement does to individuals, families and communities.

a Posted on LPP Governor Murphy quotes himself says“Our current marijuana ban laws have failed every test of social justice — maintaining the status quo that allows tens of thousands, disproportionately, of people of color to be arrested in New Jersey each year for low-level drug crime is unfair and untenable.”

The letter’s authors state that “mass incarceration has devastated families and communities, caused untold human suffering and economic losses, and placed enormous burdens on limited state resources.”

“Our criminal legal system’s obsession with long prison terms discredits the basic concept of human salvation. When we consider the missed opportunities and economic impact of this national project, the net result is immeasurable.” – Letter from the Last Prisoner Project to the Governor of New Jersey

Take action and join the alliance

Another prisoner project website It includes a government’s compassionate initiative on cannabis designed to address the challenges that may come with the distribution of a compassionate grant. The organization plans to work with governors and relevant government agencies nationwide to design clemency protocols, a screening and application process, recruitment, training, and free legal support for petitioners.

With this letter, the LPP and its coalition are calling on citizens everywhere to “express the hypocrisy of locking up people for their cannabis convictions while allowing others to make millions in profits.” Whether that includes contacting local officials, or offering voter support on time, the organization insists, “Your vote can be part of our advocacy for Humberto and other people unjustly imprisoned for cannabis-related crimes.”

To add your name to the New Jersey Cannabis Clemency petition, click here. To view a full transcript of the speech and the list of alliance members, click here.

If you have any questions about the issues raised in this letter, please contact Sarah Gersten, Executive Director and General Counsel of The Last Prisoner Project, at sarah@lastprisonerproject.org.

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