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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 Thexalon on Thursday August 03 2017, @10:56PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday August 03 2017, @10:56PM (#548514)

    I understand the argument very well: my own state of Ohio recently voted down a legalization bill precisely because it would have been a giveaway to a few friends of the governor who would be the only ones legally allowed to grow and sell. I'm never surprised when politicians are out for a quick buck rather than trying to do what's best for the voters.

    However, the simple fact is that at the policy level, the purpose of the War on Drugs is and has always been to allow the government to go after racial minorities. This is well documented from the 1930's to the 1970's and onwards. And there is a clear understanding from all levels (police, citizens, and others) that when white people are caught with drugs, the punishment is far lighter (or nonexistent) while black people and black men go to jail.

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
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