January 17, 2018

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressman Ro Khanna and Senator Cory Booker Announce House Introduction of the Marijuana Justice Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Ro Khanna introduced the Marijuana Justice Act, the companion bill for Senator Cory Booker’s S. 1689. The Marijuana Justice Act would reform unjust federal marijuana laws and empower communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the failed drug war.

“In the wake of Attorney General Session’s decision to rescind the Cole memo, it’s clear that the Trump Administration is doubling down on unjust marijuana criminalization policies,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Now, it’s up to Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition and help the victims of the failed War on Drugs rebuild their lives. The Marijuana Justice Act is a bold proposal to reverse decades of discriminatory drug enforcement and to bring federal marijuana policy in line with the wishes of the American people.”   

“The failed war on drugs has wasted resources, destroyed communities, and made us less safe,” Senator Booker said. “Marijuana enforcement is unequal and unjust and it’s largely concentrated on low-income communities and communities of color. It’s well past time we put an end to this craven injustice in our system and the Marijuana Justice Act is a significant step in the right direction. I’m grateful to my colleagues in the House for introducing this measure.”

“I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act. For far too long, communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by misguided marijuana policy,” said Congressman Khanna. “This legislation will revitalize these communities and make amends for decades of social and economic injustice.”

“The current administration’s reckless approach to marijuana is showing us just how crucial it is for Congress to end federal prohibition, while ensuring that communities most harmed by mass incarceration are not left behind,” said Queen Adesuyi, Policy Associate at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Marijuana legalization must be rooted in racial justice and equity. Any marijuana legalization proposal that fails to repair past harms, or that fails to provide for an equitable legal industry, is both negligent and tone deaf.”