End The War on Drugs
Throughout Beto’s life and career in El Paso, he has seen the direct link between the prohibition of marijuana, the demand for drugs trafficked across the U.S.-Mexico border, and the devastation black and brown communities across America have faced as a result of our government’s misplaced priorities in pursuing a War on Drugs—which is really a war on people.
In 2017, there were more than 650,000 marijuana arrests in America, with 90.8% of them being only for possession. These arrests have disproportionately targeted black and Latino individuals, and research shows that for the same crime prosecutors pursue a mandatory-minimum sentence twice as often for black Americans than white Americans.
Beto believes we must end this war on people, and has spoken out to end this unjust policy since his time on the El Paso City Council, and as President, will work to rebuild the communities it has left behind.
Read our full plan here.
Beto believes in legalizing marijuana to end the War on Drugs that has devastated communities of color. As President, Beto will take important steps, to include:
- Amending federal statutes to lift the federal prohibition on marijuana, legalize marijuana at the federal and state level, and remove it from the controlled substances list.
- Requiring licensing for producers, distributors, and sellers to ensure that potency and quality are regulated, as well as to ensure that there is payment of taxes and fees and allowing marijuana-related business owners to use banks for their businesses.
- Using clemency power to release those currently serving sentences for marijuana possession and establish a review board to determine whether others currently serving sentences related to marijuana should be released, expunging the records of those who have been convicted for possession, and removing related charges as grounds for deportation.
- Requiring producers, distributors, and sellers to keep their facilities apart from schools, daycares, churches and other incompatible land uses and limiting smoking to private residences and nonpublic spaces.
- Conducting an aggressive advertising campaign that outlines the dangers associated with marijuana use, with a strong focus on deterring driving under the influence (DUI) and use by children.
- Ensuring access to medicinal marijuana for all those who need it.
Beto believes the revenue from the marijuana industry must be re-invested in the communities that have been so impacted by the War on Drugs. To do so, Beto will call for a federal tax on the marijuana industry, revenue from which will be used to:
- Provide a monthly “Drug War Justice Grant” to those formerly incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana offenses in state and federal prison for a period based on time served.
- Fund substance use treatment programs.
- Support re-entry services for those who have been incarcerated for possession.
- Invest in housing and employment support, substance use and mental health treatment, peer and recovery support services, life skills training, victims’ services.
Beto will also tie federal funding for criminal justice systems to requirements that states or local governments:
- Waive licensing fees for producing, distributing, or selling marijuana for low-income individuals who have been convicted of marijuana offenses.
- Ensure that the majority of licenses go to minority-owned businesses and those disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, including those who have been convicted of marijuana use or possession themselves.
- Protect marijuana businesses owned by low-income individuals and people of color from predatory investors and discrimination.