New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, one of half a dozen Democratic senators running for the White House, is reintroducing a bill on Thursday that would fundamentally end the federal government’s prohibition on marijuana.
The Marijuana Justice Act, which was first introduced by Booker in August of 2017, seeks to make marijuana legal at the federal level by removing it from the list of controlled substances, while also expunging the convictions of previous marijuana drug offenders and reinvesting in low-income and minority communities that were particularly hard hit by the federal government’s war on drugs.
Some other senators running for president are co-sponsors of the legislation, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as well as Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, who is considering a bid.
Two key senators from the Midwest are not listed as co-sponsors: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who’s also running for president, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who is mulling a 2020 bid.
Ten states plus Washington, D.C., have legalized some amount of recreational marijuana, and 33 states plus D.C. allow medical marijuana. [Read more at NPR]