A group of House Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill to legalize marijuana at the federal level and expunge the federal arrest records of those incarcerated for marijuana use and possession.
The bill, introduced by California Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna and co-sponsored by twelve House Democrats, is a companion to Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act, which Booker introduced to the Senate in 2017.
Beyond removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, the bill goes a step further to provide “restorative justice,” to communities disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests and create an “inclusive industry from the ground up,” Lee said in a Wednesday afternoon call with reporters.
Lee called the legislation, “a bold proposal to reverse decades of discriminatory drug enforcement and to bring federal marijuana policy in line with the wishes of the American people.”
Here’s what the Marijuana Justice Act does
To do that, the bill will create a $500 million community reinvestment fund that will focus on job training for the nascent cannabis industry and will prioritize communities that have suffered a disproportionate number of marijuana arrests for recreational-sales licenses.
The bill will also cut federal funding for state law enforcement and prison construction if the state disproportionately arrests low-income or people of color for marijuana offenses. Part of the community reinvestment fund will be funded through these cuts.
Berke, Jeremy. “House Democrats introduce a bill to legalize marijuana and provide ‘restorative justice’ to communities impacted by the war on drugs.” www.businessinsider.com. 17 January 2018. Web. 18 January 2018.