New Jersey State Senator Cory Booker continues his fight for marijuana legalization, now not only for just New Jersey, the senator has now taken the battle to a federal level. Over the summer, Booker presented a new policy to federal lawmakers which was dubbed the Marijuana Justice Act. The policy would essentially take marijuana off the list of controlled substances and he now has the support from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, the first U.S. Senator to officially co-sponsor the bill.
Prior to his role as New Jersey State Senator, Booker served as the mayor of Newark for seven years. Booker publicizes his opposition of the efforts made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration’s regarding the marijuana prohibition.
“I’m thrilled that my colleague, Senator Wyden, has joined me on this groundbreaking bill,” said Senator Booker. “It’s long past due that we fix our nation’s deeply broken drug laws, which disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. This is more than a bill—it’s about ensuring equal justice for all, and I won’t stop fighting until our criminal justice system is reformed.”
Wyden reiterated Booker’s views regarding the bill and added the importance to fight for changes while President Trump is in office.
“Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration are still trying to fight a 1980s drug war that is socially unjust, economically backward and against the will of the American people,” said Wyden. “I’m proud to join forces with Senator Booker to fight this administration’s attempts to shift our country into reverse when it comes to federal marijuana policy. It’s more important now than ever to update outdated policies, right the wrongs against communities of color, and continue our work to lift up the voices of the many Americans who are speaking out in favor of legalization.”
To combat Sessions’ efforts, Booker suggested his Marijuana Justice Act. First and foremost, the act will remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, now making it legal at the federal level. It will incentivize states with federal funding to sway their marijuana laws and expunge federal marijuana usage as well as possession crimes. Individuals who are currently in prison because marijuana usage or possession crimes will be able to petition a court for a resentencing as well as other changes.
Booker’s sentiments regarding marijuana policy are to reflect the laws followed in marijuana-friendly states and that rescheduling marijuana is the first step in the right direction. “Descheduling marijuana and applying that change retroactively to people currently serving time for marijuana offenses is a necessary step in correcting this unjust system,” Booker stated.