A Marijuana Legalization Bill Has Been Introduced In The House
A group of House Democrats has introduced a marijuana legalization bill at the federal level and expunge federal convictions for marijuana use or possession.
[video width="840" height="600" mp4="http://blog.greenrush.com/wp-content/uploads/marijuana-legalization-bill-in-house.mp4"][/video]
It’s the moment cannabis advocates across the United States have all been waiting for. The bill, introduced by Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna of California has been sponsored by 12 House Democrats and is a companion to Senator Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act. Booker’s act was introduced in the Senate last year.
So, what does this new bill propose, exactly? First, it proposes to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act list. However, it also goes a step further by proposing to provide “restorative justice” to communities disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests and convictions. Lee told reporters on Wednesday that the bill also aims to create an “inclusive industry from the ground up.”
In terms of financials, the bill aims to create a $500 million community reinvestment fund for cannabis industry job training. It will also expunge convictions related to marijuana use or possession. An interesting section of the bill notes that it will cut federal funding for law enforcement and prison construction in states where a disproportionate number of low-income residents or people of color are arrested or convicted for marijuana offenses. The income from these cuts will contribute to the community reinvestment fund.
"It's the reverse of the 1994 crime bill," Booker said on the call with reporters. "It creates incentives for states to change their marijuana laws."
Earlier this month, Jeff Sessions announced he is rescinding the Obama-era policy that allowed legal weed to flourish without federal interference. His move was met with immediate backlash, both from within and outside his own party. While the House bill already has 12 Democratic cosponsors, no Republicans have yet jumped on board.
Another bill was recently introduced by Dana Rohrabacher (R) and already has 39 cosponsors, including many Republicans. This bill would prevent the federal government from prosecuting cannabis businesses and consumers who comply with state law, but it does not go as far as to become a marijuana legalization bill in terms of federal legalization.
Either way, Democrats, and Republicans are somewhat united on this issue, if for different reasons. Sessions’ disregard for state’s rights has angered many within his own party. It is clear that his move will not go unchallenged, whether from within or outside the Republican party.
Keep checking back at greenRush for updates on the marijuana legalization bill.