Ending the harmful consequences of the Drug War and reforming our failed criminal justice system have become mainstream positions supported by mainstream politicians and everyday people across the nation. Now, celebrities across many fields, with their ability to raise awareness (and money) have joined the fight with the #cut50 campaign. From the great folks at the Drug Policy Alliance:
Amy Schumer, Steph Curry, Ed Norton, Jesse Williams, Chris Pine, Russell Simmons, and Piper Kerman are among 90+ celebrities calling for reform to our criminal justice system. The stars are joining the campaign led by #cut50, a bipartisan effort to reduce our incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years.
The celebrity push comes on the heels of a historic deal on criminal justice reform last week. The bill, spearheaded by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), will involve reductions in mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, an expansion of the federal “safety valve” (which allows judges to use their discretion to sentence people below statutory mandatory minimums), and will expand reentry programming and early release.
“Our broken criminal justice system harms more than it helps and wastes $80 billion a year. Americans are ready to fix it. Now it’s up to the national leaders in both parties to answer this call by passing strong federal legislation,” said Van Jones, co-founder of the #cut50 campaign.
With less than 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of its incarcerated population, the United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world – in large part due to misguided drug laws and draconian sentencing requirements that have produced profoundly unequal outcomes for communities of color.
It is great that more and more celebrities are joining elected officials and people across the nation raise awareness about this important issue. It is great to have famous people and politicians on board, but they need our help to force the hand of Congress. Too many lives have been ruined by our marijuana laws and the greater Drug War and the time for real change is now. You can easily help by signing the#JusticeReformNOW, which already has more than 130,000 signatures. You can see the list of celebrities that have signed here and be sure to support them and their business endeavors with your hard-earned dollars as well.