Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced legislation earlier today that would end federal cannabis prohibition and begin to repair some of the lasting damage done by the war on drugs.
Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act would:
- Remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, ending federal prohibition of marijuana
- Cut federal funding for state law enforcement and prison construction if a state disproportionately arrests and/or incarcerates low-income individuals and/or people of color for marijuana offenses
- Allow entities to sue states that disproportionately arrest and/or incarcerate low-income individuals and/or people of color for marijuana offenses
- Prevent deportations of individuals for marijuana offenses
- Provide for a process of expungement for marijuana offenses at the federal level
- Provide for a process of resentencing for marijuana offenses at the federal level
- Create a “Community Reinvestment Fund” of $500 million to invest in communities most impacted by the war on drugs, for programs such as job training, reentry, community centers, and more. Part of the funding will come from the aforementioned cuts to state law enforcement and prison construction.
Booker is a longtime drug reform advocate who has been a primary co-sponsor of the CARERS Act (Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS), a bill focused largely on medical marijuana. The CARERS Act, which was re-introduced in June 2017, would provide federal protection to patients in states with medical cannabis programs, and expand cannabis research opportunities nationwide.
Leafly will continue to report this story as it develops today.