Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is passionate about legalizing marijuana nationwide. In August, he discussed the effects of criminalizing cannabis, saying, “It’s done serious damage to American families. Finding ways to take communities that have been disproportionately impacted and helping them to heal, helping them to recover from what has been an unjust application of the law.” He also announced plans for the Marijuana Justice Act as a means to fight for “restorative justice” nationwide.
Now, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is joining the cause. Harris threw her support behind the Marijuana Justice Act on Thursday.
“Right now in this country people are being arrested, being prosecuted, and end up spending time in jail or prison all because of their use of a drug that otherwise should be considered legal,” she said in a Facebook video. “Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. I know this as a former prosecutor and I know it as a senator.” Watch below:
Weed is currently listed as a Schedule 1 drug, but with the Marijuana Justice Act, cannabis would be removed from the list of controlled substances. Here are some other key facts, according to a recent press release.
- Incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if marijuana in the state is illegal and the state disproportionately arrests or incarcerates low-income individuals or people of color for marijuana-related offenses;
- Automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes;
- Allow an individual currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana use or possession crimes to petition a court for a resentencing;
- Create a community reinvestment fund to reinvest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs and allow those funds to be invested in the following programs:
- Job training;
- Reentry services;
- Expenses related to the expungement of convictions;
- Public libraries;
- Community centers;
- Programs and opportunities dedicated to youth; and
- Health education
Kudos to Kamala Harris for supporting the Marijuana Justice Act. This is the way to combat poverty and mass incarceration, not give drug dealers the death penalty or kick people off of public housing. Harris and Booker might be a good team for 2020.