In a devastating blow to the failed GOP elites, Democratic Senator Corey Booker has introduced a powerful bill that could be responsible for the future decriminalization of marijuana if passed.
An overwhelming majority of Americans support the legalization of medical marijuana and the rescheduling of the plant, and the Republicans have failed to capitalize on this well received idea.
Marijuana incarceration rates are immense, and the war on drugs has been a catastrophic failure resulting in a wasted three decades of endless prohibition and trillions of dollars to accomplish literally nothing.
Drugs still flood the streets, Americans are still dying from heroin and cocaine overdoses at a rate higher than ever before in history, and nonviolent criminals are being treated as if they committed an armed robbery sentenced to prison which the taxpayers end up covering the bill for, all over marijuana prohibition.
While I personally don't approve of recreational marijuana, and I believe marijuana in itself is degenerate, it truly is a failure of epic proportions that the United States of America hasn't capitalized on the opportunity to regulate and declassify the relatively harmless plant or fully equip science to use the active and inactive ingredients to benefit patients who otherwise have no hope for easing their pain or suffering.
Marijuana isn't a problem, and law enforcement officials are wasting millions of manpower hours on arresting and charging individuals who honestly aren't bothering anyone with their choices to use marijuana. It's an obviously wasteful prohibition, and the Democrats are seizing this opportunity to likely sway millions of voters back in their direction.
The GOP dropped the ball here, and while I am not a Corey Booker fan, he's brilliant for finally introducing such legislation.
Conservatives claim to be the party of cost cutting efficiency, yet drowned themselves miserably in this predicament that could have reduced federal, state, and local law enforcement, judicial, and imprisonment costs by hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
Not to mention the potential in taxation if marijuana were regulated on a federal level, in the same fashion tobacco and alcohol are taxed and mandated for oversight.
<a href="https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=638">The official release from Senator Corey Booker’s office states the following:</a>
<i>”U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) today introduced a landmark bill to reverse decades of failed drug policy that has disproportionately impacted communities of color. Booker announced the bill earlier today on Facebook Live.”</i>
<i>”The Marijuana Justice Act would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level. The bill would also incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if those laws were shown to have a disproportionate effect on low-income individuals and/or people of color.”</i>
<i>”The bill is retroactive and would apply to those already serving time behind bars for marijuana-related offenses, providing for a judge’s review of marijuana sentences.”</i>
<i>”“Our country’s drug laws are badly broken and need to be fixed,” Senator Booker said. “They don’t make our communities any safer – instead they divert critical resources from fighting violent crimes, tear families apart, unfairly impact low-income communities and communities of color, and waste billions in taxpayer dollars each year.”</i>
<i>“Descheduling marijuana and applying that change retroactively to people currently serving time for marijuana offenses is a necessary step in correcting this unjust system. States have so far led the way in reforming our criminal justice system and it’s about time the federal government catches up and begins to assert leadership.”</i>
<i>"This bill is the most ambitious marijuana bill we have seen in Congress,” Queen Adesuyi, Policy Associate at the Drug Policy Alliance, said. “Uniquely, it recognizes the fact that people of color have borne the brunt of the failed war on drugs and seeks to repair the damage done. We applaud Senator Booker for his leadership on this issue.”</i>
<i>”Arrests for marijuana now account for more than half of all drug arrests in the U.S., and black Americans too often bear the brunt of these misguided laws. Blacks are nearly four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as whites are, despite the fact that there’s no difference in marijuana use between the two groups.”</i>
<i>”Current drug laws have led police officers to arrest more Americans for possession of marijuana than for all violent crimes – armed robbery, murder, sexual assault – combined.”</i>
<i>”The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to reverse these troubling trends and fix our broken marijuana laws.”</i>
<i>”Specifically, the Marijuana Justice Act will:”</i>
<i>”· Remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level;”</i>
<i>”· Incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if marijuana in the state is illegal and the state disproportionately arrests or incarcerates low-income individuals and people of color for marijuana-related offenses;”</i>
<i>”· Automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes;”</i>
<i>”· Allow an individual currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana use or possession crimes to petition a court for a resentencing;”</i>
<i>”· Create a community reinvestment fund to reinvest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs and allow those funds to be invested in the following programs:”</i>
<i>”o Job training;
<i>”o Reentry services;”</i>
<i>”o Expenses related to the expungement of convictions;”</i>
<i>”o Public libraries;”</i>
<i>”o Community centers;”</i>
<i>”o Programs and opportunities dedicated to youth;”</i>
<i>”o Health education programs.”</i>
<i>”Booker has seen the effects of our broken marijuana laws first-hand, dating back to his time as a tenant lawyer, City Council member, and Mayor of Newark, where he created the city’s first office of prisoner re-entry to help formerly incarcerated individuals re-integrate into their communities.”</i>
It's a travesty that the GOP Congressional Membership didn't make any attempts to benefit from the majority in which they've had,by introducing similar legislation themselves.
Marijuana needs rescheduled, period. Currently it's considered just as harmful as heroin or LSD and let's face it, that's just completely ignorant regardless of where you stand on the marijuana debate.
A large number of Americans, even those against marijuana legislation to decriminalize, have at least tried the plant. It's literally as common as drinking a few beers, except it's far less dangerous.
It's time Congress act in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that the cancer patients, Veterans of the Armed Forces, and other individuals currently suffering can ease their pain. I truly hope Congress works together and ends this insane war on marijuana.