New Jersey Democrat Senator Cory Booker on Thursday introduced a bill to end the federal ban on marijuana, joined by a series of other presidential candidates announced Democracy 2020, including Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.
Harris's support apparently cemented his large-scale reversal on the issue. In 2010, Harris was among a handful of lawmakers, including at the time. Arnold Schwarzenegger – to oppose Proposition 19, a measure to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes and to allow the sale and taxation of marijuana. San Francisco prosecutor Harris then described Proposition 19 as "imperfect public policy".
This decision comes as polls show more and more that national authorities are increasingly supporting the legalization of the drug. A poll of Fox News last year showed that 59% of voters were in favor of legalizing marijuana, compared to 51% in 2015 and 46% in 2013. Only 26% were in favor of legalizing the "smoking of marijuana "in 2001.
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"The war on drugs has not been a war on drugs, but against people of color and low-income people," said Booker in a statement. "The Marijuana Justice Law seeks to reverse decades of this unfair, unfair and failed injustice by removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances and legalizing it at the federal level."
Booker added, "But it's not enough to decriminalize marijuana. We must also repair the damage caused by reinvestment in the communities most affected by the war on drugs. And we must erase the archives of those who served their time. The end we seek is not just legalization, it is justice. "
Booker's bill was co-sponsored not only by Harris, Sanders, Gillibrand and Warren, but also Detective Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Or., Jeff Merkley, D-Or. And Michael Benne, D-Co.
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"The lives of millions of Americans have been devastated because of our broken marijuana policies, particularly in communities of color and low-income communities," Gillibrand said. "I am proud to work with Senator Booker on this bill to help repair decades of injustice caused by the failure of our country's anti-drug policy."
Sanders added, "As I said in my 2016 campaign, hundreds of thousands of people are arrested for marijuana possession each year. Many of these people, disproportionately people of color, have had their lives affected negatively because they had a criminal record following marijuana use. It must change. We must put an end to the absurd situation of marijuana listed in schedule 1 of heroin. It is time to decriminalize marijuana, eliminate the convictions and stop the war on drugs that failed. "
For his part, Harris echoed Booker's feelings and apparently adopted his modified view of marijuana. Despite her past opposition to the legalization of drugs, the former California Attorney General has recently boasted of smoking weed as a student on New York's popular New York-based radio program. telling animators DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne tha God that she is "inhaled" from a joint "a long time ago."
"I think it gives a lot of joy to people. And we need more joy in the world, "added Harris, claiming that she had a habit of listening to Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur – although they do not have to. have not released their albums during Harris' college years – while she would have been well fucked.
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By co-sponsoring Booker's bill Thursday, Harris, like Booker, suggested that drug bans disproportionately affect black men.
"The marijuana laws in this country have not been applied in the same way and, as a result, we have criminalized the use of marijuana in a way that has led to the use of marijuana. disproportionate incarceration of young men of color. It's time to change that, "said Harris. "Legalizing marijuana is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do to advance justice and equality for all Americans."
Warran added, "Marijuana should be legalized and we should erase the archives of those who are unjustly imprisoned for minor marijuana-related crimes. By banning marijuana, the federal government is jeopardizing communities of color, small businesses, public health and safety. "
Last year, California became the largest legal marijuana market in the United States, Massachusetts opened the first leisure stores on the east coast, Canada legalized it in most provinces and the Supreme Court of Mexico has recognized the right of individuals to use marijuana, bringing the country closer to legalization.
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Lawmakers in New Hampshire on Wednesday approved the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes, removing public safety and health concerns before joining dozens of other states that have adopted similar measures.
Ten states have legalized marijuana for recreation – including the three New Hampshire neighbors – while New York, New Jersey and other countries plan to study marijuana this year.
Jennifer Earl of Fox News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.