Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey just re-introduced the Marijuana Justice Act on Thursday, a bill that would legalize cannabis at the federal level if passed. A companion measure will be introduced in the House by Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna, both Democrats from California. Booker first introduced the bill in the Senate in 2017, but the measure was never taken up for a vote by the body. Booker said in a statement announcing the re-introduction of the bill that cannabis prohibition has had a devastating effect on minority communities.
“The War on Drugs has not been a war on drugs, it’s been a war on people, and disproportionately people of color and low-income individuals,” Booker said. “The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to reverse decades of this unfair, unjust, and failed policy by removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances and making it legal at the federal level.”
In addition to exempting cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, Booker’s bill would expunge the records of those convicted of federal charges for marijuana use or possession. The Marijuana Justice Act would also provide resources for community re-entry and job training programs.
“It’s not enough to simply decriminalize marijuana,” Booker