Cory Booker introduced a bill to legalize marijuana nationwide, with support from his fellow 2020 candidates.
His co-sponsors of the bill, known as the Marijuana Justice Act include fellow 2020 Democratic contenders Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand. Ten states and Washington, D.C., have already legalized recreational marijuana.
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A growing list of Democratic presidential contenders want the U.S. government to legalize marijuana, reflecting a nationwide shift as more Americans look favorably on cannabis.
Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the “smart thing to do,” says California Sen. Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor whose home state is the nation’s largest legal pot shop. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a prominent legalization advocate on Capitol Hill, says the war on drugs has been a “war on people.”
Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who appears poised to join the 2020 Democratic field, has written a book arguing marijuana legalization would hobble drug cartels. In an email to supporters this week, he called again to end the federal prohibition on marijuana.
“Who is going to be the last man — more likely than not a black man — to languish behind bars for possessing or using marijuana when it is legal in some form in more than half of the states in this country?” O’Rourke wrote.
It’s a far different approach from the not-so-distant past, when it was seen as politically damaging to acknowledge smoking pot and no major presidential candidate backed legalization.
In 1992, then-White House candidate Bill Clinton delivered a famously tortured response about a youthful dalliance with cannabis, claiming he tried it as a graduate student in England but “didn’t inhale.” And two decades before that, President Richard Nixon unleashed a war on marijuana and other drugs and it helped carry him to a second term.
This year, leading Democrats hold similar positions supporting legalization. Presidential hopefuls in the Senate who have co-sponsored Booker’s legislation to end the federal prohibition include Harris, New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, who campaigned on decriminalizing pot in his 2016 presidential bid. More
Booker wants to legalize marijuana and his argument is because the laws are racist? Affecting minorities more? No, laws are not racist. The laws apply to everyone equally. The minorities are just busted breaking the laws more often.
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