While the Obama administration has fallen short on many of the policy changes needed to end the “war on drugs,” there’s one tool at the administrative’s disposal that could have a sweeping and immediate impact: the pardon power. Although Attorney General Eric Holder has called on federal prosecutors to avoid mandatory minimums, which require automatic sentences for certain crimes and take away judges’ power to consider individual circumstances, prosecutors continue to pursue them and offenders continue to serve decades-long sentences for nonviolent drug crimes.


Join The Nation in calling on President Obama to pardon or commute the sentences of federal prisoners serving excessive sentences for nonviolent drug crimes.


In our special issue on marijuana, Harry Levine, a sociology professor and co-director of the Marijuana Arrests Research Project, sheds light on the stark racial disparity in marijuana arrests in the United States.


Members of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, which has been at the forefront of fighting harsh sentencing in the “war on drugs,” describe the often heartbreaking impact of mass incarceration on their lives.