Congress tends to have a pretty hostile view towards marijuana. Despite a few people supporting legalization efforts, most politicians trot out the same tired arguments about cannabis leading to horrible things. But one senator is finally calling them out.
Senator Cory Booker introduced a bill a few months ago that would legalize marijuana and help release prisoners who are in jail for minor cannabis convictions. A member of the press asked him a question about motivating people who use marijuana to get involved politically, and Booker shot back saying that those stereotypes are outdated and he knows members of Congress who've used the drug.
“I know in casual conversations in the Congress, many legislators who’ve done pot themselves. This pejorative pot smoker label doesn’t fly,” Booker said. “So many Americans have used marijuana or have no judgement for people that do. It’s like saying, ‘Oh, those alcohol drinkers.’ We are a great society, a decent society, a good society, but our criminal justice laws do not reflect the heart of America and we all have got to do something about that.”
He also added that many prominent politicians have done much harder drugs than marijuana.
"Two of the last three presidents admitted to doing drugs harder than pot," Booker said. "Too many people are sitting on the sidelines. And I really want to point fingers."
But Booker wasn't just talking about politicians. He noted that many upper-middle class people use marijuana freely and without any punishment, and therefore don't get involved in legalization efforts. But by staying out of the fight, they simply put the less fortunate in more danger.
“People that are privileged in society who smoke pot and just don’t feel like there’s any chance of consequences in their lives,” Booker said. “Their indulging in that kind of behavior [and] not being a part of the activist community is hypocritical because there’s too many children, too many young people, too many people in my neighborhood and in my community who are suffering for doing the same thing that you’re doing.”
Unfortunately this is the sort of rational thinking that tends to get ignored in Congress.
(h/t Marijuana Moment)