U.S.: Senator Booker Introduces ‘Marijuana Justice Act’ to Legalize Cannabis
For decades, the failed War on Drugs has locked up millions of nonviolent drug offenders—especially for cannabis-related offenses—at an incredible cost of lost human potential, torn apart families and communities, and taxpayer dollars
By Michael Bachara
Today, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Marijuana Justice Act, a bill that if passed will legalize cannabis at the federal level and go even further in an effort to remedy many of the failures of the War on Drugs.
The legislation would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, ending federal prohibition of the plant. It would also cut federal funding for state law enforcement and prison construction if a state disproportionately arrests and/or incarcerates low-income individuals and/or people of color for marijuana offenses.
The bill would allow entities to sue states that disproportionately arrest and/or incarcerate low-income individuals and/or people of color for marijuana offenses and prohibit deportations of individuals for marijuana offenses. The bill also provides for a process of expungement and resentencing for marijuana offenses at the federal level.
Finally, the bill creates a “Community Reinvestment Fund” of $500 million to invest in communities most impacted by the war on drugs, for programs such as job training, re-entry and community centers.
“These marijuana arrests are targeting poor and minority communities,” Senator Booker said in a statement, “they’re targeting our veterans. We see the injustice of it all. When people of color are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people, when poor communities are targeted for marijuana enforcement while wealthy white people suffer none of the same oppression. You severely impact communities economically, you create crisis in families, you hurt people’s long term economic potential. This is the right thing to do for public safety, and will help reduce our overflowing prison population."
As of 11:15 AM PST, the bill has no co-sponsors. “This is one of those issues where it’s not about if we end the prohibition of marijuana,” Sen. Booker said. “It’s about when. Please help me make that time now.”
Photo Source: Washington Times