A group of Democrats are hoping that they can roll back the war on drugs with a new federal marijuana legalization bill.
Dubbed the Marijuana Justice Act of 2019, the bill would see marijuana finally removed from the federal list of controlled substances, legalizing the plant on a nationwide level and removing a range of obstacles from vendors and purveyors across the United States.
The bill would also expunge the criminal records of anyone who had been charged with possession while also calling for anyone currently incarcerated for the offense to petition for an immediate re-sentencing. Those convicted under prohibition laws would also be provided job training and resources under the act.
Supporters of the bill have cited the disproportionate impact of cannabis prohibitionist laws on historically oppressed nationalities and communities across the United States, leading to the prosecution and jailing of largely nonviolent cannabis users.
In her statement on the bill published by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Lee said:
“In addition to incentivizing states to legalize marijuana, the Marijuana Justice Act seeks to repair some of the damage marijuana prohibition has done to this country’s most vulnerable communities. For those communities that have been economically and socially disenfranchised by overcriminalization and cyclical incarceration, this legislation provides funding to programs focused on youth development, citizen re-entry, job training, health education, and funding for community resources such as public libraries and community centers.“