Marijuana is still a Schedule I narcotic for the U.S. as a whole, however, a new federal marijuana legalization bill has been introduced by Cory Booker and other Democratic candidates hoping to get the nod for the 2020 presidential run.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker introduced the bill, which is also backed by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, NY Senator Kristen Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and California Sen. Kamala Harris. These names are among the long list of Democrats hoping to be the forerunner for 2020 Presidential election on the Democrat ticket.
The Marijuana Justice Act is an effort to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, facilitating more effective business methods for marijuana businesses, i.e. the use of federal banking institutions with no fear of legal snags, and will also work to address years of failure to adequately handle marijuana possession charges for U.S. residents. Sen. Booker notes that records need to be expunged for those serving time for marijuana possession, as that will be the best way to ensure justice rather than simply enacting legalization.
Those of colour and low-income were the hardest hit by the years-long ‘War on Drugs’ in the U.S., according to Sen. Gillibrand. The move to address this injustice and ensure better treatment of all communities going forward brings pride to those in political power, Gillibrand said.
Senator Warren’s take on the move is that public health and safety, as well as small business and communities of colour, are at risk while marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. The move to legalize is a significant step in the right direction to protect these groups, per Warren.
The move would coincide with the first 2019 move to legalize recreational use of marijuana, made in New Hampshire by legislators who approved a measure in mid-March.