Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is urging President Obama to step up his pace of prison pardons, suggesting that the president could have a lasting positive legacy if he waved a wand and pardoned all non-violent offenders from jail.

"He should have all the non-violent first time offenders," Simmons, an influential political progressive, told Larry King's show "PolitiKing" on Ora.com TV. "Get them out of jail before they get educated in criminal behavior and become lifetime criminals," he added.

In a wide-ranging interview during which King decried guns and called Donald Trump "sad," Simmons made the case for prison and sentencing reform, claiming that non-violent and even first-time crooks come out of jail hardened criminals.

"All my friends went to jail innocent drug users, went to jail and became hardened criminals. In short periods of time," said Simmons.

"They came back criminal, with a lifetime of crime they had to follow through with. They had no other options in their mind. And they'd been educated in criminal behavior. I think it's a cycle, a horrible cycle," he added.

So far, Obama has pardoned only 65 people from jail, though presidents typically boost their pardon numbers as their second term ends.

Simmons wants thousands released. "Him pardoning a few should be … a few thousand should be of people that he pardons. Non-violent first time offenders," he told King.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.