The Marijuana Justice Act is sponsored by three potential United States Presidential Candidates for 2020. They include Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), Senator Cory Booker (NJ) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY). While they may compete for the most powerful office in the nation in the next federal election, they are joining forces now to send a powerful message to unite on the legalization of cannabis.
Today, Sanders and Booker hosted a live stream on social media to speak about the legalization of cannabis. Booker said this is a not only a moral issue but a justice issue to repair the fabric of the communities. He stressed the need to overcome apathy, injustice and inaction which are the biggest threats to the industry moving forward. Booker spoke about ‘Marijuana Refugees’ – people leaving New Jersey to get the treatments they need for themselves and their children.
Both Booker and Sanders stressed the need for urgency to stand-up and fight for the legalization of cannabis across the country. Currently there are only a few supporters of the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017.
Sanders highlighted the fact that simple possession of cannabis could negatively affect one’s life regarding employment, college loans, losing voting rights, and the impact on the fabric of the community. Sanders said that because of these actions, the ‘War On Drugs’ has destroyed and worn at our country’s democratic rights. Booker agreed saying that it has mostly affected people of color and of low socioeconomic status.
Check out their full live stream below
The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017: What Does It Do?
This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to remove marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols from schedule I status. It also eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who imports, exports, manufactures, distributes, or possesses with intent to distribute marijuana.
The Marijuana Justice Act impacts certain federal funds for a state without a statute legalizing marijuana in certain cases. If the Bureau of Justice determines that such a state has a disproportionate arrest or incarceration rate for marijuana offenses they would be cited.
Furthermore, the bill directs federal courts to expunge convictions for marijuana use or possession.
Finally, it establishes the Treasury the Community Reinvestment Fund to establish a grant program to reinvest in communities most affected by the war on drugs.
There is a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives which was introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA). Additionally, Senator Mitch McConnell introduced a bill to legalize industrial hemp across the country.