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House Dems. Introduce Bill to Legalize Marijuana and Provide 'Restorative Justice'

by Countable | 1.18.18

What’s the story?

A group of House Democrats have introduced a bill to legalize marijuana at the federal level and expunge federal convictions for marijuana use or possession.

It is a companion bill to Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act, which the New Jersey Democrat introduced in the upper chamber last year.

Why does it matter?

Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna of California introduced the Marijuana Justice Act on Wednesday with the support of 12 House Democrats.

If enacted, the bill would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act list and leave it to states to craft their own pot policies.

The Marijuana Justice Act would also offer "restorative justice" to communities disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests and convictions, and create an "inclusive industry from the ground up,” Lee said in a call with reporters.

As Business Insider explained, "The bill proposes creating a $500 million community reinvestment fund to focus on job training for the nascent cannabis industry, prioritizing communities that have a disproportionate number of marijuana arrests and convictions, as well as expunge convictions related to use or possession."

Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Justice Department was ending the policy that allowed states to relax restrictions on recreational pot without the threat of federal interference.

What do you think?

Do you want your reps to support the Marijuana Justice Act? Or do you agree with Sessions’ move? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your comments below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: Nastasic / iStock)

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