Earlier this week, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced legislation that would begin to end the unfair prohibition of marijuana throughout the federal government. The bill would also serve to repair the damage done to the country via prohibition.
Booker was quoted stating that “I believe the federal government should get out of the illegal marijuana business. You see what’s happening around this country right now. Eight states and the District of Columbia have moved to legalize marijuana. And these states ae seeing decreases in violent crime in their states. They’re seeing increases in revenue to their states. They’re seeing their police forces being able to focus on serious crime. They’re seeing their police forces being able to focus on serious crim. They’re seeing positive things come out of that experience.”
The legislation that Booker would like to put in place called the ‘Marijuana Justice Act’, would essentially; remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, ending federal prohibition of marijuana. It would effectively cut federal funding for state law enforcement and prison construction if a state disproportionately arrests and/or incarcerates low-income individuals and people of color for marijuana offenses.
The legislation would also allow private entities to take legal action against states that unfairly or unjustly arrest and incarcerate low-income individuals and/or people of color for marijuana offenses.
In addition, it would prevent the unfair deportations of individuals for marijuana related offenses. The bill would also provide a process for releasing marijuana related-offenders of their crimes at the federal level.
Lastly, it would create a Community Reinvestment Fund. This would take $500 million and re-invest it in communities that are affected by the war on drugs, for several programs to help with re-entry into society such as job training, community centers, and more programs.
If Booker’s programs get put into place, the amount of unjustly criminalized individuals would drop, families would be reunited, and the government would see massive amounts of tax revenues for use across the country.