Sen. Cory Booker has just introduced a bill on to legalize marijuana nationwide ahead of his presidential campaign.
The Marijuana Justice Act already has support from high profile Dems, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Booker. Gillibrand actually introduced the bill in back in 2017 but sadly, the bill was not taken up for a vote.
The bill introduction comes at a time where arrests within the Black and Brown community continue to rise despite the legalization of the drug in several states across the country.
Ten states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana, and the total legalization is an apparent next step.
"The Marijuana Justice Act doesn’t just end the federal prohibition on marijuana—it also incentivizes states to change their marijuana laws if those laws are being enforced in a way that disproportionately impacts people of color and the poor," Booker said in a statement on Twitter.
"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.
"And it’s not enough to just legalize marijuana, we should help those with records for use and possession convictions, and allow people currently in prison for marijuana-related crimes to petition for resentencing, which is why my legislation includes expungement provisions," the 2020 presidential candidate continued.
"Excited to announce that my Marijuana Justice Act now has strong support in the Senate & House—but we need to build support to make it law. I hope everyone who's in favor of legalization will speak up & become an advocate for a more restorative justice"