The Marijuana Justice Act Introduced In Senate

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) has introduced comprehensive marijuana reform legislation, the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017.

The bill would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.

Click here to watch the video of Senator Booker discussing the bill.

“Not only is it imperative we end our failed experiment of marijuana prohibition, we must also ensure justice for those who suffered most under these draconian policies,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, “We applaud Senator Booker for introducing this robust legislation that would not only remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, but provide a path forward for the individuals and communities that were most disproportionately targeted by our nation’s failed war on marijuana consumers.”

Thirty states, Washington, DC and the US territories of Guam and Puerto Rico have enacted legislation specific to the physician-authorized use of cannabis, while an estimated 63 million Americans now reside in jurisdictions where anyone over the age of 21 may possess cannabis legally. Voters overwhelmingly support these policy changes. According to a 2017 Quinnipiac University poll, 59 percent of Americans support full marijuana legalization and 71 percent believe that states, not the federal government, should set marijuana policy.

To date, these statewide regulatory programs are operating largely as voters and politicians intended. The enactment of these policies have not negatively impacted workplace safetycrime ratestraffic safety, or youth use patterns. They have stimulated economic development and created hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue. Specifically, a 2017 report estimates that 123,000 Americans are now working full-time in the cannabis industry. Tax revenues from states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington now exceed initial projections. Further, numerous studies have identified an association between cannabis access and lower rates of opioid use, abusehospitalizations, and mortality.

Click here to send a message to your Senators to urge them to support the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017


51 thoughts

  1. This is exactly what the United States needs!

    I wrote my Pennsylvania senators. The Democrat (Casey) would probably vote for it along party lines, but Toomey is a Republican. The thing with Pennsylvania Republicans and Pennsylvania Blue Dog Democrats is that they are holier-than-thou money grubbers. They’re motivated by MONEY yet like to say and act (in public) as if money is not their prime mover.

    If there were some sort of (small) federal tax on legal cannabis that could help the bipartisan problem solvers in Congress fix ObamaCare and give us universal coverage, the Pennsylvania Republicans at the state and federal level would love to reach into that money bag and fill their pockets with as much of it as they can and still not be noticeable, no noticeably bulging pockets.

    1. How can you possibly suggest a Fed. tax! It would be no more than a manipulation lever. Feds need to have as few ties to the Devil’s Lettuce as possible.

      1. I can suggest a federal excise tax on cannabis because I’m not politically naive enough to think that the federal government will legalize cannabis. As foolish as it is, the federal government still has its prohibitionist levers of the IRS and DOJ, with or without a federal excise tax. Eventually, the feds will take their cut, and the low road, easiest way, is for them to add federal marijuana taxation to the TTB in the Department of the Treasury.


        It’s elementary. That’s how Washington, D.C. works, whether we like it or not. We don’t have a Libertarian government, obviously. Tobacco and alcohol are taxed.

      2. At about 10% of 324 million people, most Americans do Not use marijuana, yet most Americans are in favor of legalization, according to recent polling.

        So what is in legalization for all those people who don’t use marijuana? The cannabis community has been touting the tax revenues to do good in the communities in STATES where it’s legal, as well as the criminal justice savings, not even to mention the absurd effect these prohibitionist laws have on minorities by breaking up households by incarcerating the father, for example. And then these law-and-order, conservative (mostly Republicans and so-called Blue Dog Democrats who IMO are not longer limited to the South) politicians turn around and bitch about fathers needing to take responsibility in poor communities, which you can read as criticism of blacks in that regard, and then the welfare queen stereotype they like to perpetuate.

      3. As someone who has MS that lives in a state with mandatory minimum sentencing of 10 yrs for marijuana possession and a pathetic excuse of a medical marijuana law. I think the hypocrisy of our government not at least allowing the sick to use marijuana under federal scheduling protocols is disgusting. If Sessions wants to go after recreational marijuana that is fine and good but for the love of God reschedule it so those of us that are desperate to have relief can have it.

      4. @ Bopip,
        I am sorry to hear of your MS. Full credit to you for your fair point about the medical efficacy of cannabis. Regarding the recreational use of cannabis, I would just like to add, recreation is therapeutic! And, last I checked, recreational activities are not specifically a crime.

        Further, please remember, much like eating an orange because it is delicious yet healthy, all use of cannabis is medical, simply because of the pharmaceutical attributes of cannabis — regardless of why or how one consumes it.

      5. The Republican-controlled Congress failed multiple times to undo ObamaCare. The federal government is looking for a source of money to “fix” it and improve it. I just saw Ali Velshi on MSNBC reporting that Texas and the South are the geographical areas that need the Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) funding the most. These regions of the country seem to oppose legalization the most. But, what if there was something in legalization for them, like federal money from a federal excise tax on cannabis that is giving them the money they want to make the ACA work better and be more affordable to their cost of living?

        Legalization needs all the momentum it can get, all the support it can get. Why not try to win over folks in this way? The rich never have enough money, so Swamp Thing (Trump) is definitely going to get tax cuts for Wall Street and the rich.

        Nothing wrong with being rich, but the money for the tax cut can NOT come off the backs of folks losing their health care or from making health care so expensive their essentially priced out of the market.

  2. Signed and sent.

    The Federal government is so corrupt at this point we need to put our weight behind states rights. But this bill sets a good debate about reparations. The collateral benefits of legalized marijuana are still surfacing. And so are the damages from decades of predatory prohibition. Reparations are more likely to be received in Federal court than Congress. Until we reform campaign financing and voter supression, federal bills are gonna get cut up like swiss cheese. At the state level, marijuana prohibition has been a major force of voter supression all along. Lets prioritize states rights and sue the $#!+ out of prohibition.

  3. Trump supporters, take note: as a goal within the marijuana legalization movement, ending the racial disparity in marijuana arrests is second only to the goal of ending all marijuana arrests, everywhere.

    Black lives matter.

    That’s why the marijuana legalization community doesn’t want or need a bunch of racist Trump-rhoids selling their fascist, white-supremacist agenda among white stoners. Fuck Trump, fuck Sessions, Kid Rock, and whoever else you got lined up.

    You can join us, but check your white cracker credentials at the fucking door, or get the fuck out.

      1. Is that because he fucked you Pepe? The truth is an offense but not a sin.

    1. Wow calling others racist then turn around and use racist names yourself? Roll one up and chill out before you have a stroke.

      1. @ Keith,
        It’s not racist to call out racism (like calling out Trump and his racist dumbfuck supporters.) But it is racist to vote for, and continue to support a racist politician (like that dumbfuck Trump and his cracker-ass supporters.)

    2. You sick, sick person.

      Whites and trump supporters are racist?
      Take a look in the mirror to see a true

      1. @ SteveO,

        Trump is a white supremacist, openly and proudly. You can’t pretend he isn’t. While other Republicans issued the racist dog-whistles during the primaries, Trump has made the subtext the text, and taken over the GOP accordingly: he knows his base are a bunch of racist pricks like you, SteveO.

        If you are white, and you support Trump, you ARE a racist, whether you admit it or not, whether you even are aware of it or not. There’s no way around it.

        So, bite me, redneck!

      2. It’s interesting that the responses to Mark’s comment came in a wave. Sorta like the talking points du jour in the conservative media.

      3. @ Evening Bud,
        We’re having a discussion, but they (right wing nut jobs) are having a marketing campaign. They’re the same goddamn way in person, too!

      4. You’re certainly right about that. IMO, that makes them easier to argue/discuss issues with, as they become pretty predictable.

    3. @Mark: I just wanted to say thank you for standing up to these duplicitous Trumpsters and exposing them for the phonies that they are. I like that you don’t give an inch. When I read your posts, I don’t feel so alone. Wish more good people like you would take a stand.

  4. I think Cory Booker has the best of intentions and I appreciate his efforts, but seriously, getting the Republican Congress and President Trump to say “yes” is like asking for ice water in hell.

  5. I am an epileptic with chronic migraines. After years of suffering… Marijauna is the only thing that has helped me. I would love to be able to travel again, and see family with out fear. I had to move from my home state, family, and all of my resources just so I could legally have treatment.

  6. The only medicine I use that works w/o negative side effects.Please allow this bill to pass,so I can still be able to medicate w/o dangerous pharmaseuticals.This medication is working miracles for so many people,please don’t stop us from accessing a better and natural way of healing!This medication (Cannabis),is especially advantagis for children. Thank you

  7. Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) is a true American hero. If he was to run for president he would definately get my support!

    Senator Booker is a man who actually believes in doing the right thing for the people of our country vs most politicians who cater to whomever pays them the most; or in the case of Trump, whatever he thinks benefits him the most…

  8. Too many GOP’ers in power combined with some Demo opposition (I’m looking at you Feinstein!) mean this bill is DOA. Hey, if the h8ters on both sides want to play a game of divide and be conquered by their fears, they got their wish and The War On Some Drugs will just be another continuing conflict along with so many others.

    MAGA is for all of us to make happen. It’s not a Left or Right deal. It’s not even just for Trump. MAGA is about finding a better way to live. Quit the bickering, take note of the realities of the situation and act rationally so We The People have leaders who do the same. That’s the ticket!

    1. @ MAGA Man,
      When you say “MAGA is for all of us” you forgot to mention the not-so-fine print: “MAGA is not for Muslims. MAGA is not for Mexicans. MAGA is not for women. MAGA is not for gays. MAGA is not for transsexuals. MAGA is not for the handicapped. MAGA is not for the poor. MAGA is not for workers. MAGA is not for drug users. MAGA is not for America.”

      1. I keep forgetting, does MAGA stand for “Mexican-Americans, Go Away” or “Muslim-Americans, Go Away”?

      2. MAGA, Make America Great Again, can be defined however one wishes. Sorry to see you took the worst of interpretations of what MAGA means, for it does not mean that to me at all! MAGA is a project, a work, we must all participate in so we as a nation are truly great again, living up to our ideals.

        …or you can see it as code for “Yeah, I’m a racist mo-fo”….and you would be losing out on a better perspective, which would be your loss and in a way, a loss for all of us, since to Make America Great Again, we need all hands on deck doing so. As an organization, NORML is MAGA as they stand up for a POV that needs expressing clearly. They’re most certainly not making America less great by their actions after all!

      3. @ MAGA Man,
        Defeating Trump and his white-supremacist agenda WILL improve America… greatly. For everybody.

      4. MAGA Man,

        I understand the spirit of your post. Make America great again. Who wouldn’t want that?

        My problem with that phrase is that it supposes that America was ever great. We’ve done many great things here, it’s true, set some great examples to the rest of the world. We were the first to do A, B, C, etc.

        But we’ve also done some pretty shitty things here, the wholesale slaughter of the indigenous peoples and the legalized slavery of a race of people being just a couple of examples. Even in the so-called halcyon days of the 1940s and 1950s, we had unrepentant discrimination going on–and not only in the South.

        Internationally, we’ve helped plenty of other countries, but we’ve also assassinated many foreign leaders we didn’t like (whether or not they may have actually been “good” or “bad.”) And we’ve interfered with and disrupted so many elections around the world, it’s hard to keep count.

        Also, look at the number of countries we’ve readily invaded, usually for profit. Even during the 1920s-1930s–you know, those halcyon days–we were fighting continuous wars in Central America and Asia for the benefit of US corporations, killing innocent people for the enrichment of those corporations. Great days indeed.

        So, Make America Great Again? Let’s just try to make America a decent place to live for everyone. We can start with legalizing pot.

  9. Thank you for this blog post. I hope that Senator Booker’s legislation will raise awareness about America’s failed “War on Drugs” and a discussion will be created about the injustices that have occurred as a result of it.

  10. This legislation would be a perfect amendment to add on to any legislation to fix ObamaCare so the more Americans have affordable health care, universal health care. A small federal excise tax on cannabis is a steady revenue stream that could be used to fund the fix. After all, the rich still want their tax cut. The Republicans will do tax cuts. I’m sure they’ll get that done, whether Swamp Thing (Trump) gets impeached or not.

    The Gateway Theory
    It still pisses me off that here in the Pennsylvania Blue Dog Democrat country where people helped the state go to Swamp Thing that so many people with university degrees STILL believe in the gateway theory about marijuana. It ALWAYS comes up in opposition to legalizing marijuana. Yes, ALWAYS. There has to be more of a campaign and public service announcements, Sanjay Gupta CNN specials or on some other channel, freakin’ C-SPAN’s Book TV, History, National Geographic, plus getting newspapers to get out the word. What the hell happened to the NYT? The nation’s newspaper of record was working on it, then dropped off the radar. Network news and their news shows? I mean, WTF!

    1. Surprise– Gateway Theory correctly applies not to cannabis but to— the Joint. The Australian Department of Health referred to the practice of rolling a joint with tobacco mixed in as a Trojan Horse luring children into nicotine $iggerette addiction.
      (And we have some “Blunt” customers who buy a small cigar, throw the loose tobacco away, load up with a half gram or gram of cannabis, and co-inhale nicotine from the cigar skin.)
      Even the size and feel of a joint somewhat mimics the swagger and style of $iggerette $moking and we need research on how often this has led to kids trying a “$quare” eventually and getting hooked.

  11. The Fed Gov has spent approx. 1 Million dollars per year on MY BROTHER Paul’s Epilepsy Seizures and Psychotic fits caused by the narcotics they have treated him with for over 50 years.. so YES> they have spent 50 Million Tax DOallars on MY BROTHER PAUL alone.. and finally .. we moved him to CA where he went on Cannabis edible treatment.. NO MORE SEIZURES. just a brownie a day. JUST Massive suffering for half century .. IS GREED OF THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY fight to make it illegal..

  12. For those of us with chronic illnesses and no cure, and have now had all pain medication taken away from us, we NEED medical marijuana. We have no covered treatments and many people are resorting to death with dignity. My only question is: Would you do this to your pet? Please stop treating us as less than humans. We are people too and we have brains. You will find we are very kind, caring, and compassionate people who have a lot to offer. Yes, I signed and sent the letter.

  13. I’m glad the older generation is being weeded out… We need younger, healthier minds in charge of politics and positive reform.

    My main question is… Which state has the BEST medical cannabis? I’m in Florida and am receiving my card next month.

  14. It’s about time!! I’ve sent my letter; already got reply & sent another one!! It should have never been on the CSA schedule in the first place! Thank Nixon & his cronies for camophalging a PLANT by renaming Cannabis with the two most common Mexican names(Mary & Juan) & sneaking it past the AMA’s noses who KNEW & tried to prevent it but DuPont & Big Pharma has more $ & clout. Schedule 1 criteria : “no medical benefit” & “high potential for addiction” have never been true & it’s proven more every day that it has BENEFITS, & NO ONE has ever died from ODing on it. It’s >100xs safer than alcohol! It was also listed in the Pharmacopeia (medical formulary) of the US from1851-1937. Everyone needs to write & call your legislators & bombard them to vote YES on this

  15. Been smoking cannabis for over 45 years, tired of being ripped off. In the states that have medicinal and\or recreational the taxes seem to be gouging big time. It should be the state regular sales tax. I know the VA doctors are in big pharma cahoots 100%, why are medical doctors never taught natural healing? Duh, it’s a plant with no negative side effects.

  16. I am a person with High Functioning Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome. My disability qualifies for Medical Cannabis, but only in Pennsylvania. Sadly I live in Upstate NY, so I took a trip Denver Colorado and it was nothing short of a miracle. Dispensary staff were more respectful and humbling than the doctors who threw anti-seizure ,anti-psychotics, and barbiturates at me. Cannabis was the best at mitigating my symptoms, so It was disheartening flying back to NY; strictest medical marijuana laws, and largest cash crop for municipal police. I agree Senator Booker’s bill is a step in the right direction, but North and South eastern state medical marijuana laws are still less progressive beneficially to a large population who would gain the most from western style legislation. Politicians like Chris Christie, Andrew Cuomo, and Corey Booker will only advocate for milquetoast toast cannabis legislation because they take campaign money from Big Pharma, Big Ag, and Health Insurance companies .

  17. Pot has kept me from using way to many pain pills, the amount of pain I am in takes WAY more pain killers than would be safe for me to use. Sadly, I cannot get it right now and still am waiting to get to see the doc to be approved for medical pot. At the age of 60 I just don’t look cool anymore LOL. I pray this does go through but after so many years of reefer madness I just am not sure but I know it will help millions like me if it was legal.

  18. Legalization should be supported for medical, social and financial reasons. I know dozens of people that smoje marijuana for medical and recreational reasons. These people come from all socieconomic levels. A marijuana arrest often has a devastating effect on an individual’s life for no real purpose. Illegal marijuana is big business for law enforcement, court systems, lawyers, rehabs, prisons, parole/probation offices and let’s don’t forget Big Pharma – all that Xanax, Prozac, Lexapro, etc.

    There is no real purpose in all that. The states that have already legalized it have demonstrated the financial gain to be seen. Maybe once yhe focus isn’t chasing down potheads, more resources can be directed towards meth, opioids – both pharmaceutical and heroin. Meth and opioid use is a national epidemic that destroys lives, families and communities.

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