The Controlled Substance Act has been careening towards its demise for a number of years now. With state legislation taking it upon themselves to decriminalize marijuana as a Schedule I drug. Now, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has devised a plat to eliminate the ban on marijuana at the federal level.
The Hill is reporting that Booker’s plan to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level would incentivizing states with a “disproportionate arrest rate” on minority or low-income individuals.
“Our country’s drug laws are badly broken and need to be fixed,” Booker said in a statement. “They don’t make our communities any safer.”
A number of attempts have been made along this vein in the past with little success. As recently as 2015, Bernie Sanders stalled in the judiciary committee after it received no cosponsors. Pundits are skeptical that Booker’s plan would fair much better.
But with a retroactive clause that would allow inmates to petition their marijuana convictions for a lesser sentence, and expunge like-charges from the records of those who have been previously convicted, the proposal is certainly ambitious.
Is the federal government ready to back this kind of legislation? That remains to be seen.
The likeliest avenue remains decriminalization at the state level, with changes at the federal level appearing as far off as ever.
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