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U.S. senator wants to legalize marijuana nationwide

by Evan Wilt
Posted 8/01/17, 12:40 pm

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bill Tuesday to legalize marijuana at a federal level. Booker said his Marijuana Justice Act is more than just encouraging states to legalize the sale and use of cannabis; it’s one step forward in reforming a broken federal criminal justice system. “Our country’s drug laws are badly broken and need to be fixed,” Booker said in a statement. “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.”  If signed into law, Booker’s bill would allow marijuana offenders to get resentenced and courts would expunge their marijuana use and possession crimes automatically. Booker has been a strong advocate for loosening sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. In 2016, he worked with Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for some drug abusers. But their efforts never got off the ground because some Republicans feared the consequences of easing drug sentencing laws. Booker’s bill has little chance of passing through the Republican-controlled Congress and will have zero support from the White House. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already started repealing Obama-era policies that granted more leeway to drug offenders.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.

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