Cory Booker Reintroduces Bill to End Federal Prohibition of Marijuana

As the 2020 presidential election cycle is officially underway, one Democratic candidate decided to reiterate his support for marijuana legalization.

New Jersey Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker reintroduced the "Marijuana Justice Act." The bill would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, expunge past marijuana convictions and reinvest money into communities that have been hurt by the War on Drugs.

Booker initially introduced the bill back in 2017 and became one of the most high profile Democrats to call for legalizing marijuana. Today, that's not necessarily the case. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders all co-sponsored the new version of the Marijuana Justice Act, and all four of them are running for president. 

Booker's bill is probably the most far-reaching marijuana bill being considered by the Senate right now. The other major bill is the STATES Act, which was co-written by Warren, that would protect states that legalize marijuana from interference from the federal government.

Booker was probably hoping his support for marijuana legalization would help him in his run for the Democratic nomination, but now that pretty much every other major contender supports the issue, it's not necessarily something he can make a central part of his campaign.

(h/t NPR)

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Local officials and law enforcers often have fears that allowing legal cannabis shops to operate within their jurisdictions will have detrimental effects. Some people fear that allowing pot shops in their neighborhood will increase violent crime rates, allow young people easier access to the drug and lower the property value of surrounding homes. But is any of that true?

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