A new bill set to be presented to congress shortly would see an end if passed to cannabis prohibition across the U.S.
The bill, introduced by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, is called the ‘Marijuana Justice Act of 2017, ‘ and has already been lauded by many as a step in the right direction and a stop to imprisoning people for taking cannabis.
Sen Booker spoke out via his Facebook account, stating that the federal government “should get out of the illegal marijuana business.” Booker added, “You see what’s happening around this country right now. Eights states and the District of Columbia have moved to legalize marijuana. And these states are seeing decreases in violent crime in their states.”
Booker’s initiative would seek to fully legalize cannabis, and to remove it completely from the group of prohibited drugs included in the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, where it is currently listed as a Schedule I drug.
The bill, which is already drawing some bi-partisan controversy as well as excitement, would also move to cut federal funding for state law enforcement and prison construction if a state disproportionately arrests and/or incarcerates low-income individuals and/or people of color for marijuana offenses. That move, naturally, has some backs up.
Sen Booker didn’t hold back on his Facebook page, adding, “These marijuana arrests are targeting poor and minority communities, [and] targeting our veterans. We see the injustice of it all. I have seen young teenagers getting arrested, saddled with criminal convictions for the rest of their lives.”
Obviously, the bill would also have far-reaching implications for medical cannabis patents. As John Malanca, co-founder of United Patients Group, said to reporters, “We work with thousands of patients across the country who use medical cannabis to address serious conditions and alleviate needless suffering. Even though a grassroots movement has led to medical access in 29 states, federal recognition is key, and Sen. Booker’s legislation is long overdue.”
When all is said and done, a poll carried out by Quinnipiac University in April, a staggering 94 percent of Americans support full access to medical cannabis for patients in need of it, while 60 percent favor full cannabis legalization.
[Image credit- Flickr]