Senator Cory Booker has proposed a bill called the Marijuana Justice Act that would legalize marijuana on a federal level, and promises support for people unfairly targeted by the country’s harshly punitive drug laws.
Politico reports that the bill would also offer incentives to states that want to transition into making marijuana legal on a more local level. States where minorities are imprisoned at a higher level for offenses related to the drug would be penalized, and lose federal money for the construction of prisons.
Anyone currently serving time for violating a cannabis law would be given a new hearing, and those with convictions on record at a federal level would be able to have them expunged. Those who feel they have been unfairly affected could theoretically sue, and the bill would establish a Community Reinvestment Fund to facilitate growth of communities most targeted by the “War on Drugs,” by building libraries and supporting re-entry programs:
“You see these marijuana arrests happening so much in our country, targeting certain communities — poor communities, minority communities — targeting people with an illness,” Booker, the former mayor of Newark, said in a Facebook Live roll-out of his legislation.
The reality is that this bill is a bit of a longshot, given that Congress is Republican controlled and governed by an administration that includes racist Bratz-doll husk Jeff Sessions, who believes weed is basically the same thing as heroin. Sessions particularly likes using these bigoted laws Booker is calling out to harass and arrest people of color. But at least this effort is giving the issue some major national attention.