Recording artist Russ has teamed with criminal justice reform advocate Weldon Angelos to bring awareness to The Weldon Project’s Mission Green initiative. The goal is to lobby President Joe Biden to issue a categorical pardon to individuals serving federal prison time for nonviolent marijuana crimes.
“Having a recent cannabis partnership I have to acknowledge that people are serving sentences for cannabis-related offenses,” states Russ. “There is a fundamental error in our justice system imprisoning people while others are allowed to profit from the cannabis industry.”
The 28-year-old Shake the Snow Globe album creator continues, “Recognizing my own privilege as a white male entering into this space, I want to do my part to help those facing these charges get exonerated.”
Russ and Weldon Angelos appear in a 1-minute public service announcement for Mission Green. The PSA includes Russ specifically mentioning Terrell “Ralo” Davis, the Atlanta rapper who was charged with two federal counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Previously, The Weldon Project sent a letter to President Biden advocating clemency for Ralo. Hip Hop stars such as Drake, Killer Mike, Meek Mill, T.I., Quavo, and 2 Chainz were signatories. Athletes like Deion Sanders and Kevin Garnett signed the letter as well.
“This is an amazing show of support from the Hip Hop community. Ralo is incarcerated side by side with countless other victims of the war on drugs — watching CEOs of cannabis companies profiting while he is preparing to be sentenced to years in federal prison,” says Weldon Angelos.
He continues, “We can’t abide this double standard; the evidence supports that individuals of color are disproportionately locked up while an industry led by predominantly white men is booming.”
Sixteen states and Washington, DC have legalized marijuana use for adults. The global weed industry reportedly made $21 billion last year. During the 2020 presidential race, Biden campaigned on decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level and expunging prior federal cannabis convictions.
The federal government claims Ralo was running a $2 million cross-country drug operation. He was arrested on April 15, 2018 at the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. Ralo and his alleged Famerica gang affiliates are accused of transporting 964 pounds of marijuana from California to Georgia.