By Weldon Angelos
Tuesday will be a historic day in the U.S. Senate. Members of a key subcommittee have invited me to testify at a hearing on cannabis reform and the harms of criminalization—a first-of-its-kind meeting in a chamber where marijuana policy and the lifelong consequences of prohibition have been swept under the rug for far too long.
My message to the panel will be simple: My name is Weldon Angelos, and I am living proof of the benefits of second chances. But I’m far from the only person deserving of relief. I plan to remind members that inaction will only continue to breed injustice, and there’s no more time to waste.
The topic of the hearing—the critically important issue of federal cannabis decriminalization—affects the lives of millions of Americans, from those who have interacted with the criminal justice system, to patients and veterans who get relief from cannabis.
I’m grateful to the subcommittee chairman, Senator Booker, as well as Senator Lee for their ongoing commitment to my cause and to my case. Without their help, I might still be serving time in federal prison.
When I was 23 years old, I was working in the music industry as a producer for artists like Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur’s recording group. It was my dream job. In addition to my music career, I was also selling small amounts of cannabis on the side to help pay the bills until my music ventures stabilized. Unfortunately, my connections to the music industry—and to hip-hop in particular—made me the perfect target for law enforcement.
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Read about his case at Wikipedia