Yesterday President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 58 people serving prison time for federal drug-related offenses. This follows the commutation of 61 individuals on March 30th of this year, and 162 individuals in 2015. Each of the individuals receiving a pardon were in prison for a nonviolent drug offense, many victims of the disparity between crack and powdered cocaine.
“The President is using his constitutional power, but he can only do so much,” says Michael Collins, deputy director at Drug Policy Alliance’s office of national affairs. “There is legislation in the Senate that would reduce mandatory minimums and have a greater impact on the prison population, and Leader McConnell needs to bring the bill up for a vote.”