The Marijuana Justice Act, which would federally legalize cannabis, was originally introduced in 2017 but received no floor hearing. The legislation has been reintroduced by presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), according to a CNBC report.
Many of the bill’s co-sponsors are fellow Democrats positioning themselves as 2020 presidential candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand.
The Marijuana Justice Act would not only remove cannabis from the list of Controlled Substances but would also provide financial incentives to states encouraging them to loosen their own cannabis laws. A major portion of the bill also seeks to help those people and communities most negatively impacted by the war on drugs. It would do this in large part by using taxes to fund job training and other social services.
“Black people are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white peers even though they use marijuana at similar rates. If we truly want to be a fair and just nation we need to correct for this disparate treatment of enforcement practices.” — Sen. Cory Booker, in a recent tweet
Despite broad public support, the bill is still expected to struggle in the Senate, which is currently Republican-controlled. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said last year that he does “not have any plans to endorse legalization of marijuana.”
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