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WIRE: Marijuana Justice Act introduced in Senate

Washington, DC — On Tuesday, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017, to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and incentivize states to end the racially disparate criminalization of marijuana consumers.

“Not only is it imperative we end our failed experiment of marijuana prohibition, we must also ensure justice for those who suffered most under these draconian policies,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, “We applaud Senator Booker for introducing this robust legislation that would not only remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, but provide a path forward for the individuals and communities that were most disproportionately targeted by our nation’s failed war on marijuana consumers.”

The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color.

More than six in ten Americans believe that the social use of marijuana should be legal for adults, according to nationwide polling data provided by CBS News.

The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 would:

  • Remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances making it legal at the federal level;
  • Incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if marijuana in the state is illegal and it disproportionately arrests or incarcerates minority and poor people for marijuana-related offenses;
  • Automatically expunges federal marijuana use and possession crimes;
  • Allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison to petition a court for a resentencing; and
  • Create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs and allows the money to go towards the following programs:
  • Job training;
  • Reentry services;
  • Expenses related to the expungement of convictions;
  • Public libraries;
  • Community centers;
  • Programs and opportunities dedicated to youth; and
  • Health education programs.

For more information or interview requests, contact NORML Political Director Justin Strekal at 202-483-5500 or justin@norml.org

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