On January 1, California, Maine, and Massachusetts joined the growing list of states that legalized recreational marijuana.
Yet, Attorney General Jeff Sessions just announced that he will end the current policy of federal non-interference, so that the Justice Department could crack down on marijuana in states where it has been legalized for recreational use.1
For decades, the failed war on drugs has locked up millions of nonviolent drug offenders, especially for marijuana-related offenses. This has wasted human potential, torn apart families and communities, and squandered massive sums of taxpayer dollars.
That’s why I introduced the Marijuana Justice Act to call for the legalization of marijuana at the federal level. Will you sign my petition and call on your senators to join me in moving this critical legislation forward?
If passed into law, the Marijuana Justice Act would have an immediate impact on our criminal justice system, policing, our communities, and even the economy. This legislation would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level.
The bill would also incentivize states to change their marijuana laws if those laws are shown to disproportionately affect low-income individuals and/or people of color. The Marijuana Justice Act would be applied retroactively for those already serving time for marijuana-related offenses, providing for a judge’s review of marijuana-related sentences. That means that we could reduce our prison population—a goal that Democrats and Republicans alike have claimed to support.
State governments have, so far, led the way in reforming our failed drug policy and in beginning to fix our criminal justice system. Unfortunately, the federal government isn’t doing its share—and Sessions, among his many offenses, is working actively to undermine the progress in this area. We can’t let Sessions roll back our progress, criminalize more Americans, and terrorize our communities by doubling down on failed drug policy.
–Senator Cory Booker
1. “Sessions to nix Obama-era rules leaving states alone that legalize pot,” CNN, January 4, 2017
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