Topic

Drug Policy

158 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Pass the Justice Safety Valve Act

When my brother was sentenced to 55 years for a nonviolent marijuana offense eleven years ago, the judge who sentenced him strongly opposed sending a father of three to prison for so long. But because of mandatory minimum sentencing, he had no choice. Now, a new bill in Congress will give judges the authority to give sentences lower than the mandatory punishment in certain cases where the sentence is excessive. The Justice Safety Valve Act will finally let judges do what they're supposed to: judge! It would allow judges to sentence a person to less prison time than the mandatory minimum law requires whenever the mandatory minimum sentence is unjust or excessive. Federal judges are currently bound to sentence offenders in compliance with mandatory minimum sentences, resulting in unfair sentences and an explosion in the prison population.  My brother's judge called the sentence “unjust, cruel, and even irrational.” He's not the only one. There are judges all over the country who oppose mandatory minimum sentencing because these laws prevent them from using their discretion to hand out the appropriate sentence and often force them to destroy families.  In a recent interview, Weldon's judge said, “If he had been an aircraft hijacker, he would have gotten 24 years in prison. If he’d been a terrorist, he would have gotten 20 years in prison. If he was a child rapist, he would have gotten 11 years in prison. And now I’m supposed to give him a 55-year sentence? I mean, that’s just not right.” The Justice Safety Valve Act has bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House -- but your lawmakers need to hear from you. We can pass this bill and greatly improve the criminal justice system. Please sign my petition calling on Congress to pass the Justice Safety Valve Act.

Lisa Angelos
69,443 supporters
This petition won 1 year ago

Petition to President of the United States

Clemency for Timothy Tyler, life for a nonviolent drug offense

My brother Timothy Tyler was just 25 years old when he was sentenced to die in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. He's watched murderers and rapists leave prison while he has no chance of ever leaving. He is now 45 years old and I want to bring him home. Timothy was a young Grateful Dead fan, who in May of 1992, sold pot and LSD to a friend who turned out to be a police informant. He had never been to prison before, but a judge was forced to give him double life without the possiblity of parole because of two prior drug convictions — even though both those convictions resulted in probation. Life without the possibility of parole means my brother will never have a chance to live outside of prison walls. It's effectively a death sentence. Tim made mistakes when he was young, but after 22 years in prison, he has more than paid his debt to society. He is not a threat to anyone. He wasn't given a chance to get clean and sober to think about the damage he was doing to his life. They locked him up and threw away the key. But there's hope.  In December, President Obama granted clemency to 8 nonviolent drug offenders who were serving mandatory sentences for crack cocaine. And the Department of Justice recently asked for Bar Associations throughout the country to send them more clemency petitions for nonviolent drug offenders. It costs $25,000 per year to keep my non-violent brother in prison for a mistake he made more than 20 years ago.  So far, that is over half a million dollars.  Not only is that not justice, but it's a waste of money. I need your help to show them that Americans think Timothy has paid his debt to society and shouldn't be housed in a cage at the expense of taxpayers anymore. He should be granted clemency.    

Carrie Tyler
423,306 supporters
This petition won 1 month ago

Petition to Susan H. Richmeier, Wendel Wurst, Ronald Evans

Give Shona Banda, a loving mom and medical marijuana patient, her freedom.

My friend Shona is a single mother who uses medical cannabis to treat her Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that is incredibly painful. Now she's fighting to stay out of prison because she is a medical marijuana patient in a state where it isn't legal.  It all started last year when her 10-year-old son spoke out in school about the benefits of medical marijuana, explaining that it had saved his mom's life. Officials at the school called police who then searched her house and found medical marijuana and cannabis oil.  Shona's son was eventually returned to her after he was removed from her care when he defended his mother's right to use medical marijuana to mitigate her Crohn's disease. But she is now facing charges for possession with intent to distribute (even though the only thing she intended to do was take her medicine). If convicted this single mother faces a maximum of 27 years in Kansas prison for a medicine that is completely legal 70 miles away in Colorado. Shona's son, now 11, was questioned by police without knowledge or consent of either parent and this interrogation led to a warrant being issued that would remove both the child and Shona's medicine from the home. Without medical cannabis, Shona lives in extreme pain everyday. She chooses to combat her disease with cannabis due to its safety profile compared to other treatments and documented success of cannabis therapy in digestive disorders. But Shona lives in Garden City, Kansas where cannabis remains highly illegal, even for medical purposes. Please join me in asking Finney County Prosecuting Attorney, Susan Richmeier and Shona's public defender, Ronald Evans, to accept Shona's plea of "Not Guilty by Reason of Biological Necessity" and dismiss this case so that Shona can get on with her life and her healing process.

Jacqueline Patterson
73,139 supporters