Senator Jeff Merkley Cosponsors The Marijuana Justice Act

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) today became the fourth Senator to cosponsor the Marijuana Justice Act, joining the bill’s author, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and cosponsors Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Kamala Harris (D-CA).

The Marijuana Justice Act is the first ever companion legislation that has been introduced in both chambers of Congress remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

The bills, S. 1689 and HR 4815 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.

The House companion legislation is being sponsored by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and has 37 additional cosponsors.

Click here to send a message to your federal officials to tell them to follow suit and cosponsor the Marijuana Justice Act.

19 thoughts

    1. Julian,
      It is a mystery to me, as well, why the Democratic Party establishment either cannot, or will not, grasp the concept of the Resistance.

      Don’t get me wrong, I am fully behind the Democrats in 2018 and 2020; and I would need to invent a whole new kind of profanity to fully express my revulsion toward Traitor Trump and his Republican Nazi collaborators.

      But, you ask a damn good question: why? Why cannot the Democrats work together on basic shit, like a farm hemp bill? It is remarkable.

      We both know the default explanation: corporate and/or criminal influence in the broadest sense — “dark” money of all kinds.

      Still… My only other possible explanation has to do with yuppies, or, as I like to call them, “fucking yuppies.”

      Yuppies are hippies who sold out, essentially. These days, they generally lean Democratic, I would think, in that they are not openly in favor of child snatching, lynchings, non consensual pussy grabbing and/or rape, pedophilia, and treason, like your average Republican.

      But their fatal flaw is their total acquiescence to the dictates of Corporate America. It’s a white thing: the Employer is ALWAYS golden. If you can’t afford food AND an apartment, they figure, then you must be doing SOMETHING wrong, even if they can’t tell you what that is. But deep down they judge the homeless as much as the Republicans do. That is The Man, hypnotizing those who should be getting down with The Resistance in a big way.

      I understand that the Democrats in Congress don’t have the votes to do wield much power; that’s why I intend to vote Democrat every chance I get.

      But, jeez… what will it take to wake them up?

      1. The “yuppie hypothesis” I mention is a very generalized observation, and a cultural argument. The connection, more explicitly, between the yuppie world-view and the hemp bill is that a) this is the “elite” of the left-leaning voters, loosely speaking, and b) their world-view prevents them from seeing the heart of the matter. And there’s the catch.

        This is my hunch as to the answer to the question at the top, which was “why.”


        This article from Daily Kos explains it better.
        In diagram, the problem looks like this:

        THE PROBLEM:
        (Greatest Power)
        [Corporate Special Interests]
        [We The People]
        (Least Power)

        …when it should rightfully and properly look like this:

        (Greatest Power)
        [We The People]
        (Least Power)

      3. The difference between the two is DEMOCRACY.

        No wonder then, that democratic governance of, by, and for the people is precisely what Republicans DON’T want; as evidence, study their endless voter suppression crimes.

      4. Dain,

        I agree with you about the Yuppy phenomenon; to that I’ll just add that I’ve often thought my own generation–graduated high school in ’73–to be a bit of a “phony” generation in that we grew our hair long like the ’60s generation, and we liked pot (and other drugs) like the ’60s generation, but all similarities essentially ended there.

        My generation was essentially a long-haired generation of rednecks who liked pot. There were exceptions of course.

      5. Dain,

        Many of your points here I find spot on. The problem with corporate Dems is that while they are great on certain issues, like racial equality, women’s rights and the environment, they are often terrible on economic issues and foreign policy. It’s the corporate money that often taints them and makes them difficult to discern from GOpers.

        My own two Senators here in NM, both Dems, Udall and Heinrich, are tied too closely to the defense industry; and thus, they usually support foreign interventions, regime changes and the like. I’ve called both offices, not only on the issues of MJ legalization, but also on the need to invest here at home instead of military ventures abroad.

        They are of course far better on most issues than any present-day GOpers would be, particularly in environmental issues and Native American issues, but I hope some day to see both replaced by true progressives.

        Michelle Lujan Grisham, who’s currently on the inside lane to replace the terrible GOP prohibitionist Susanna Martinez as Gov, is very similar to them, alas. Still, I believe the chances of her supporting MJ legalization are far better than that of the GOper candidate for Gov, Steve Pearce (who’s just another garden variety conservative prohibitionist).

  1. It is quite obvious that it is the Democrats and Independents that want this change for our country. The Republicans seem to be quite content to leave things the way they are; i.e. screwed up and unjust.

    1. I’m not a lawyer, but the synopsis above looks like this (if passed, which I doubt) would end criminalization of MJ on a Federal level.

  2. By my count, that’s one Independent, and five Democrats, and ZERO Republicans.

    Hey Republican asswipes! Explain to me again how you Republicans serves any useful purpose whatsoever?

    1. Three days since I posed the question, still nothing but crickets.

      Yeah, that’s what I thought.

      What a bunch of pathetic phonys, these Republicans. What a bunch of cheap suit, used-car-lemon selling, fake teeth fake hair, lying-through-their-teeth, talking out their ass, blowhards.

      Well, it was mostly a rhetorical question, anyway. The Republicans serve no useful purpose, whatsoever.

  3. We stand with you, Sen. Merkley, and the others, and thanks, may REAL justice be done!

  4. beautiful weather, lately, beautiful days for legalization and progress! 😀 To victory!

  5. Quotation: “If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”

    Thomas Jefferson

    1. Another good quote from Thomas Jefferson is etched into the SouthEast portico of the Jefferson Memorial. Anyone attending NORML Lobby Day who hasn’t frequented DC before should check it out. It’s as if Jefferson were talking to the future prohibitors of cannabis:

      “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as a civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

      -Excerpted from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816.

    2. Ancient James,
      One’s own corporate employer is, more often than not, the face of oppression these days.

      “Mandatory” corporate drug testing is, in fact, letting someone else tell you what you can and can’t put into your own body. Moreover, unlike the federal government or a state government, a private corporation has no right or authority to govern you, much less own your body.

      Ever been to a “mandatory” office birthday party? Ever tried refusing to eat the disgusting barf-inducing cake? I have.
      “Have some cake,” my boss suggested.
      “No thanks,” I said.
      “Have some,” he directed me. “Out of courtesy.”
      “I can’t. It will upset my stomach.”
      “Eat it!” he ordered me.
      “No!” I said. He glared at me. “Thank you,” I added… out of courtesy. He walked away pissed. I did not eat the cake. It cost me political points, and with more than one person.

      But I didn’t puke.

  6. I think it’s interesting that the head of the DEA can sit in front of a congressional committee when asked by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, Patterson said he was unaware of the often-referenced 2017 study by the National Academy of Sciences that found “conclusive or substantive evidence” that marijuana effectively deals with chronic pain issues.”

    Why is it that when the DEA lies to congress it’s no big deal, but when they even so much as think President Trump is lying, shit hits the fan?

    1. I think it is interesting that you attempt to speak for Thomas Jefferson while talking out your ass.

      I find it disgusting that you would attempt to promote that fuckwad Republican Trump.

      That’s interesting, isn’t it?

    2. When we consider that in the 1930s The American Medical Association testified in congress against cannabis prohibition and that they outlawed it anyways, then we realize what a long enslavement of many citizens that the corrupt cannabis prohibition laws brought. Cannabis was the active ingredient in many medicines before prohibition.

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