This month Sen. Cory Booker introduced the most ambitious marijuana legalization bill to date. Not only does the proposed bill seek to legalize marijuana, but it also aims to expunge federal marijuana convictions and penalize states that have harmful marijuana laws. If passed, any state that has not legalized cannabis and has racially disproportionate incarceration rates for marijuana crimes will lose some criminal justice funding. Black Americans makeup about 14% of regular drug users, but are arrested as 37% of the drug offenses. This new bill will encourage states to legalize cannabis or take the initiative to reduce the unfair focus on arresting minorities for non-violent drug offenses.
“For decades, the failed War on Drugs has locked up millions of nonviolent drug offenders — especially for marijuana-related offenses — at an incredible cost of lost human potential, torn-apart families and communities, and taxpayer dollars,” Booker said in a Facebook post introducing the legislation.