Obama Just Granted Clemency to a Pot Lifer. But Dozens More Remain Behind Bars.

On Monday, President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders held in federal prisons. It was the highest number of commutations granted in a single day since the days of Lyndon B. Johnson. But for the 35,000 federal inmates who have applied for relief, it was a drop in the bucket.

And only one of the recipients of the recent commutations is a pot lifer: Francis Darrell Hayden, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for cultivating a plant that more than half of the US population now believes should be legal. (He was growing a lot—more than 18,000 marijuana plants, obscured by rows of corn.)

As Mother Jones has reported, no fewer than 69 people are currently serving life sentences for pot-related offenses. “Of course they—the lifers—and I are all thrilled for the prisoners who were released, but we are all discouraged that so very few clemencies were given to marijuana offenders,” says Cheri Sicard, vice president of the CAN-DO Foundation, an advocacy group for nonviolent drug offenders. “We have many senior citizens who have already served decades for marijuana-only crimes that are being ignored.”

Read More: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/obama-commuted-drug-senteces-marijuana-lifer

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