Cory Booker, Barbara Lee, and Ro Khanna Renew Push to Decriminalize Marijuana
Decades of failed drug policy have disproportionately impacted low-income communities and communities of color. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) with Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) today will renew their push to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level by reintroducing the Marijuana Justice Act, which would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances. It would also incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if those laws are shown to have a disproportionate effect on low-income individuals and/or people of color. Booker says the War on Drugs has been a war on people. “It’s not enough to simply decriminalize marijuana. We must also repair the damage caused by reinvesting in those communities that have been most harmed by the War on Drugs,” the Senator said. The bill is retroactive and would apply to those already serving time behind bars for marijuana-related offenses, providing for a judge’s review of marijuana sentences. The legislation would also expunge the convictions of those who have served federal time for marijuana use and possession offenses. It would reinvest in the communities most impacted by the War on Drugs through a community reinvestment fund which could be used for projects like job training programs, re-entry services, and community centers. “Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by misguided marijuana policy for far too long,” Khanna said. Lee, who is Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, added, “I’m proud to sponsor legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, address the disproportionate impact of prohibition on people of color.” The trio will hold an event to announce the reintroduction of the Marijuana Justice Act -- the most far-reaching marijuana legislation to ever be introduced in Congress -- today at 11:10A EST. Watch the livestream here.