With the 2020 election just days away, this is a great time to highlight some of the most important legislation facing voters across the country.
There are currently five states with some form of cannabis laws on their ballots. If you believe advocates and industry analysts, none of them are as important as New Jersey.
Despite the fact that NJ Governor Phil Murphy campaigned on bringing adult-use cannabis to the Garden State, he has been unable to do so. Even with overwhelming support from voters, Murphy was unable to get it done with his fellow lawmakers. Luckily, this is an issue that can go directly to the residents and has been placed on the ballot for the November election.
It is widely expected to pass and would make New Jersey the 12th state in the U.S. to create a market for adult use cannabis and will create an enormous cash cow for cash strapped state, overnight!
Governor Murphy is not alone in believing that marijuana can make a significant and positive impact on patients across the state, and is joined by Senator Cory Booker in introducing additional legislation to advance the cause.
Known as the 'Marijuana Justice Act', this bill is co-sponsored by more than a dozen lawmakers, most notably, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).
"I'm proud to introduce the Marijuana Justice Act - bold, progressive legislation to address the legacy of racial bias in marijuana enforcement and to end the failed War on Drugs. Today, we are asking Congress to turn the page on decades of unjust marijuana prohibition and forge a new path forward. It's past time that we take decisive action to right the wrongs from decades of misguided policies," said Rep. Barbara Lee.
What Does The Marijuana Justice Act Do?
- 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 it disproportionately arrests or incarcerates minority and poor people for marijuana-related offenses
- Automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes
- Allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison to petition a court for a re-sentencing
- Create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs and allows the money to go towards the following programs: job training, re-entry services, expenses related to the expungement of convictions public libraries, community centers and health education programs.
*In addition, this piece of legislation is the first companion legislation to be introduced in both chambers of Congress with the sole purpose of removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act of 1972.
**In an unfortunate twist of fate, the U.S Supreme Court just declined to hear a case that addressed this same issue (removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act)
Don't forget to read up on all the latest cannabis news and watch as the cannabis legalization movement gains major traction heading into 2021!