For a second time, Senator Cory Booker declared a bill to produce recreational marijuana use legal throughout the full U.S.
The Marijuana Justice Act, that Booker and Representatives Barbara Leeand Ro Khanna announced on Thursday, would not only legalize marijuana but also retroactively erase marijuana possession fees from Americans’ criminal records, based on Rolling Stone — a massive shift in U.S. medication coverage.
Cory Booker, a 2020 Democratic hopeful, first introduced a similar bill in 2017 that did not make it from the Senate. However, Booker has made it very clear that a significant part of his presidential bid will likely center around finishing the War on Drugs, that has caused the over-policing and incarceration of racial minorities for nonviolent crimes.
“The War on Drugs Has Been A War On People”
“The War on Drugs has been a war on people — criminalizing poor people, people of color & people with mental illness,” Booker tweeted Thursday afternoon . “I’m unashamedly the [Marijuana Justice] Act to begin reversing our failed national drug policies.”
Meanwhile, the Senator Ron Wyden introduced an identical bill before this month.
A major component of this Marijuana Justice Act is its own retroactive effect on people who were formerly billed for marijuana possession and either served time in prison or are still incarcerated.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accounts that black people are four times more likely to be detained for marijuana possession compared to elderly folks, despite similar rates of medication use.
When many states have legalized recreational bud, it mostly profited wealthy, white small business owners who opened distribution facilities . Meanwhile, black people continued to be arrested at higher rates and the predominantly-black cohort currently in prison stayed there, Vox reports.
The new bill would enable people now in prison for ownership to appeal for re-sentencing. Individuals who served time could have their criminal records expunged, according to Rolling Stone.
“It is not enough to simply decriminalize marijuana. “And we must expunge the records of people who have served their period. The finish we seek is not only legalization, it’s justice.”