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posted by martyb on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the smoke-screen? dept.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has introduced a bill (alt) that has been described by Marijuana Majority as the most far-reaching marijuana bill ever filed in either chamber of Congress. It would legalize cannabis federally by removing "marihuana" and tetrahydrocannabinols from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. But it would go much further by withholding money from states with racially or financially disparate arrest and incarceration rates for cannabis-related crimes (effectively all states where cannabis is illegal):

The bill would legalize marijuana at the federal level and withhold federal money for building jails and prisons, along with other funds, from states whose cannabis laws are shown to disproportionately incarcerate minorities.

Under the legislation, federal convictions for marijuana use and possession would be expunged and prisoners serving time for a marijuana offense would be entitled to a sentencing hearing.

Those "aggrieved" by a disproportionate arrest or imprisonment rate would be able to sue, according to the bill. And a Community Reinvestment Fund would be established to "reinvest in communities most affected by the war on drugs" for everything from re-entry programs to public libraries.

Booker says that he will work towards bipartisan support for the bill.

Serious legalization attempt or just advertising for a 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign?

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  • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:30PM (3 children)

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:30PM (#548101)

    This is going to fail.

    It tries to do too much. If it was just a straight up Cannabis legalization attempt it would at least have a very, very, slim chance of passing. I think many states would like to get some of the money places like Colorado is raking in since they legalized it.

    But since it tries to do so much more than that it will be opposed by far more organizations than will support it and is thus doomed to fail.

    I tend to agree that this is more of a PR stunt to get Booker some street cred. Watch for him to announce he is looking into running in 2020 some time soon.

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  • (Score: 1) by YeaWhatevs on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:41PM

    by YeaWhatevs (5623) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:41PM (#548105)

    It is going to fail because it is proposed by a Democrat. I suppose when you know it has no chance of getting out of committee you don't have to worry about being practical.

  • (Score: 2) by mr_mischief on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:22PM

    by mr_mischief (4884) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:22PM (#548139)

    A sponsored bill is a starting place for negotiation. Nobody ever expects all of a bill to pass as written. By putting in some measures that seem like common sense extensions of the main point he can yield significant ground and still hope for the main points to make it to the floor for a vote.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:25AM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:25AM (#548214) Journal

    I agree it is likely a stunt (Booker is one of the Senators who opposed Bernie's plan to let US Citizens access the global markets like Corps do by purchasing prescription drugs from Canada based on arguments by Pharma which also pays him a ton of money -- yeah, I'm no Booker fan). He probably added just enough surrounding crap to make sure that the bill failed like a typical Democrat who likes to pretend to be all progressive, and will vow to support progressive causes when they have no hope, only to turn Republican (neoliberal) when push comes to shove.

    All that said, if gets it passed, good on him.