*John Legend, Russell Simmons, Danny Glover, Brad Pitt and filmaker Eugene Jarecki released joint statements in praise of President Barack Obama’s evolution on the enforcement of marijuana legislation on Wednesday, agreeing with Obama’s assertion that “we’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
The president was discussing recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington, two states that legalized recreational pot use by adults.
Pitt and company — executive producers of the Jarecki-directed film “The House I Live In” — released the following statement:
“President Obama should be commended for expressing the will of the people in Colorado and Washington. Our jails are overburdened with nonviolent drug users in this country, too often serving harsher sentences than violent criminals. This defies all common and economic sense. The President’s statement reflects a saner and more sensible drug policy, and a step away from the decades long failed war on drugs.”
“The House I Live In” is an award-winning documentary that urges reforms to drug laws, with a particular focus on sentencing. Simmons and Legend also released additional statements.
“Not only has the war on drugs been a failure for all Americans, but the numbers show it has overwhelmingly targeted Black and Latino populations, and the poor. I commend the President for keeping his eye on the prize by focusing on our top priorities, and hope he will continue to demonstrate leadership in driving valuable federal resources away from the senseless incarceration of nonviolent drug users toward schools, true public safety, and serious health solutions to what is, after all, a public health matter and not a criminal one.”
“A sea of change is happening in the drug war. As executive producer of ‘The House I Live In,’ I am happy to see these important first steps in Colorado and Washington supported by the President. But we all must remain vigilant since the fight to end the war on drugs is ongoing and significant work remains to be done to arrive at a compassionate, sane and effective approach to the nation’s drug problem.”