Harris Cosponsors Landmark Bill to End Federal Prohibition of Marijuana

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) today became the fourth U.S. senator to cosponsor Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) landmark bill to end the federal prohibition on marijuana. The Marijuana Justice Act would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level. Harris announced her support of the bill in a video.

“Right now in this country people are being arrested, being prosecuted, and end up spending time in jail or prison all because of their use of a drug that otherwise should be considered legal,” Senator Harris said. “Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. I know this as a former prosecutor and I know it as a senator.”

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) became the first Senator to cosponsor the Marijuana Justice Act last year, followed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in February, and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in April. In addition to these cosponsors, Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced a companion measure in the House of Representatives earlier this year that has 35 cosponsors.

In addition to removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances, the bill would incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if those laws were shown to have a disproportionate effect on low-income individuals and/or people of color. The bill is retroactive and would apply to those already serving time behind bars for marijuana-related offenses, providing for a judge’s review of marijuana sentences.

Specifically, the Marijuana Justice Act will:

  • Remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level;
  • Incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if marijuana in the state is illegal and the state disproportionately arrests or incarcerates low-income individuals or people of color for marijuana-related offenses;
  • Automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes;
  • Allow an individual currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana use or possession crimes to petition a court for a resentencing;
  • Create a community reinvestment fund to reinvest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs and allow those funds to be invested in the following programs:
    • Job training;
    • Reentry services;
    • Expenses related to the expungement of convictions;
    • Public libraries;
    • Community centers;
    • Programs and opportunities dedicated to youth; and
    • Health education
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33 COMMENTS

      • You’re confused! That’s not the same as the stuff you smoke or eat … The medication is made from a different strain of marijuana not available to the general public but only worked with in laboratories. Capisce?

        • Not confused champ! I am well educated on CBD and it is available to the public in certain states. Move on.

          • The stuff stinks to high heaven and since January 1st, 6 people have been killed by STONERS driving on our freeways, including on CHP officer. This stuff is crap! The feds must NOT take off the Schedule 1 drug list.

        • It is not made from different strains. The progress we’ve made with research and extraction technology has come with it becoming more legalized. If it becomes legal, researchers will be able to study it easier and make breakthroughs with it instead of this minimal growth. The whole reason for it’s prohibition has always been because $ and racism. If you don’t know the history of the Marihuana Prohibition Act then you have absolutely merit in this argument.

      • Yes! Marijuana contains mercury and other dangerous chemicals and can cause schizophrenia in many people. I think we see some example of that on this board.

        • There you have it folks. Lola probably doesn’t believe in the efficacy of vaccines either, and that the earth is flat!

  1. At least marijuana users don’t get violent. I’ve seen too many mean drunks.

    I’d rather it were legal just to take a product away from Mexican cartels.

    • Marijuana users don’t get violent? Really? What about the guy who just caused a crash Wednesday on I-880 in Fremont which resulted in the death of three people (a woman and two children)! Tests revealed that he was under the influence of marijuana. That stuff has to go! Allowing that stupid “recreational” marijuana law to be passed, should be rescinded before more people die!

    • Anon These Days said ” marijuana users “. There is a big difference between thugs looking to make money and a simple marijuana user.

      • Exactly, anyone still wanting weed to be illegal is stuck in the 1930’s. By their rationale, cellphones, jewelry, big screen TV’s, etc. should be illegal too because people get robbed for them even more. Give me a break. It’s long overdue to end this racist and outdated federal prohibition.

        • Dimitri – You think everything is racist. How the hell can this be racist? You’re stuck in the days of lynching. Give me a break.

          • Look up the history of the Marihuana Tax Act. Look up the history of “yellow journalism” on cannabis by California’s racist patron saint William Randolph Hearst. Marijuana becoming illegal was not only in reaction to hemp being a superior textile to plastic, polluting oils, and deforestation, but also as a way to imprison Mexicans and African Americans on a large scale because it’s a readily available plant. This has been common knowledge for decades. Why is “marijuana” known so commonly? Because that’s what Mexicans use to call it and it became associated with it in order to demonize it. It’s almost impossible to look at American history without finding racism, and this is a prime example of it. Do some research Melanie goodness gracious.

          • Look up the history of things done to women 100 years ago. You don’t see me whining about it 100 YEARS LATER!

            Dimitri – Look up the definition of MOVE ON. You’re stuck in your own oppressive mentality.

            The past is the past. Get over it.

          • @Melanie The Marihuana Tax Act was enacted in 1937, so 80 years ago. Unfortunately it’s presence is still seen today where cannabis is still very much illegal. It’s unfair to the men and women who are imprisoned over a plant with stricter sentences than some more heinous crimes, to “get over it”. It’s also a slap in the face of people dealing with debilitating illnesses who can’t get proper research, medicine, and regulations, to just “get over it” and suffer. As a woman, I’m appalled that an issue as discriminatory as drug policy, you would side with the ones at fault. Don’t hide behind women’s rights because that’s comparing apples to oranges.

          • Eileen – Most of us are sick of Dimitri rambling on about racism in every one of his comments. That’s all he talks about, and it gets old. A lot of us don’t care about the Tax Act. Get a life.

          • @Nick except that marijuana being illegal is because of racism….? The founding fathers grew hemp. But yea let’s overlook this disgraceful injustice because it makes you uncomfortable.

          • Marijuana was NOT illegal because of racism. It’s illegal because it’s a DRUG. As far as fairness, no one ever said life was fair.

          • @Melanie Although it was not the main reason, it was a catalyst to make it illegal. It’s an injustice that it is classified as Schedule I and drugs like methamphetamine as Schedule II. In the 1930’s they used propaganda to say Mexicans and Negroes were abusing it, causing them to cause crime and rape white women. It’s all very well documented. It’s also fact that it’s been a medicine for thousands of years and was commonly found in pharmacies in the United States in tinctures, oils, topicals, etc. Race played a role, but also the fact that it was in competition with timber, which is why William Randolph Hearst made such racist propaganda because he had a heavy stake in the newspaper and timber industries. There was even a hemp mill in San Joaquin County on Ryer Island. Hemp is a fantastically renewable energy source that’s been used for millennia in the form of oil, textiles, cloth, food, even concrete and it’s a shame the American people are robbed of this resource due to outdated and detrimental laws, especially when considering the medicinal utility. Its not a miracle plant like many can presume, but to downplay its usefulness as well as the dark history surrounding its legality, is quite ignorant and necessitates further studying.

          • Hank – Cocaine used to be in Coca Cola too. I say it’s racist that cocaine is no longer in Coca Cola because most Coke drinkers are white, and they didn’t want us white folks getting high for free. USA is full of dark history. GET OVER IT, AND MOVE ON!

          • @Melanie Dude it was in printed newspapers with racist rhetoric! It wasn’t just hearsay. You willfully just ignored everything this man just said because you’re white? This drug policy is still relevant right now in 2018. It’s sad that you feel victimized as a white person so you’ll gladly stand for injustice. What a great American.

          • Nobody cares about your far left BLM crap. The far left thinks everyone is a victim, and that’s why you’re so pathetic. I think Melanie was being sarcastic. You really think she feels victimized?

    • Go read a book George. You’re probably an adult who’s never read peer-reviewed scholarly literature and instead
      only propaganda filled media but claim to know the difference with “fake news” LOL. Teenagers can get intoxicated from rubbing alcohol and mouthwash on top of many other LEGAL substances. You’re an idiot and stand in the way of progress.

      • Wayne, you sound like a true STONER! Someone who has had hundreds of thousands of their brain cells killed off by smoking this vile stuff. You’re the prime example why this crap should NOT be made legal. Peer review? Like stoners reviewing other stoners’ “scholarly” literature? You want everyone stoned out of their minds? It wold be a piece of cake to take over a country with peoples’ brains addled.

        • “Jesse’s Girl”? Either that’s a reference to that lame 80’s song, or you’re codependent. Piece of cake to take over the country? You really must be stuck in the Cold War era 1980’s. After you watch Red Dawn for the 100th time, start with the work of Lester Grinspoon. I hope your comment is just satire or you’re just ignorant and have never actually read a scholarly journal. People like you stand in the way of scientific progress.

          • Oh yeah! I’m 27 years old and I sure am “stuck” in the Cold War era. Nice try, Buster! Keep on tokin’, Wayne!

        • For George- Marihuana Reconsidered by Lester Grinspoon.

          And Lola, for your paranoid mind- The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan.

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