Fresh from his unsuccessful attempt to tweet Americans into giving up their firearms, Jim Carrey has joined a group of rappers, musicians, actors and celebrity activists to push President Obama on drug policy. The group sent a letter to the president urging him build on his record of “leadership on issues affecting the unrepresented classes of people in our nation” by easing up on drug offense sentencing and speeding up requests for clemency.
Mr. President, we are a coalition of concerned advocates that is ready to support you in more innovative criminal justice reform and implementing more alternatives to incarceration. As you set in motion research and policy to combat this societal crisis, this coalition is poised to help you make the transition successful. In 2010, the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act was a tremendous step in the right direction, and we appreciate how hard you worked on getting that done. Some of the initial policies we recommend is, under the Fair Sentencing Act, extend to all inmates who were subject to 100-to-1 crack-to-powder disparity a chance to have their sentences reduced to those that are more consistent with the magnitude of the offense. We ask your support for the principles of the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, which allows judges to set aside mandatory minimum sentences when they deem appropriate.
We ask that you form a panel to review requests for clemency that come to the Office of the Pardon Attorney.
The group may find Barack Obama open to such changes. But for a few strokes of luck, the admitted cocaine and marijuana user may have found himself requesting a pardon at some point, rather than being elected to a position where he can grant them.
The coalition notes the political impact that President Obama’s intervention might have, near the end of their letter.
Many of those impacted by the prison industrial complex are among your most loyal constituents.
The letter, which was signed by dozens of prominent people including Ludacris, Lil Wayne, Jennifer Hudson, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Michael Pflegler, Margaret Cho, Mike Tyson, and a bundle of Kardashians, does not mention the president’s own past drug use.