Sen. Cory Booker Trying to End Federal Prohibition
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Sen. Cory Booker Trying to End Federal Prohibition
Posted by CN Staff on August 01, 2017 at 15:04:22 PT
By Matt Laslo
Source: Rolling Stone
Washington, D.C. -- While voters across the nation have legalized varying forms of marijuana, Congress has largely been silent on the issue, which is why a new bill introduced today by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is turning heads. The Democrat's legislation would end the federal prohibition on marijuana and incentivize states to as well.The proposal, called the Marijuana Justice Act, removes marijuana from the federal list of Schedule I narcotics  think peyote, heroin and, yeah, weed  which is known as descheduling. It also punishes states that disproportionately lock up minorities and the poor for marijuana offenses, by cutting off some of their federal dollars for building jails and prisons, as well as other areas.
"You see these marijuana arrests happening so much in our country, targeting certain communities  poor communities, minority communities  targeting people with an illness," Booker said in his rollout on Facebook Live, which was viewed by more than 100,000 people.Now that eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, Booker says the nation is finally seeing real results from local policies that are far outpacing the federal silence on the issue."They're actually seeing positive things coming out of that experience," Booker said. "Now I believe the federal government should get out of the illegal marijuana business."Marijuana advocates and criminal justice oriented groups are lauding the new proposal that they say at the very least changes the dialogue on marijuana."This is the single most far-reaching marijuana bill that's ever been filed in either chamber of Congress," Tom Angell, founder and chairman of the pro-pot group Marijuana Majority, said in statement. "More than just getting the federal government out of the way so that states can legalize without DEA harassment, this new proposal goes even further by actually punishing states that have bad marijuana laws. Polls increasingly show growing majority voter support for legalization, so this is something that more senators should be signing on to right away."But the legislation faces an uphill battle in Congress, even with lawmakers from the states that have legalized weed for recreational purposes."I do not support a national, a federal effort to decriminalize marijuana," Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins tells Rolling Stone. "We're in the midst of an opioid crisis in this country and I think the last thing we need is for the federal government to send a signal that marijuana should be legalized across this country."It's not just Republicans from states that have approved recreational marijuana who oppose the effort  even many Democrats are dubious of the far-reaching proposal."I'm not there. I think there's a lot about marijuana we don't know," California Sen. Dianne Feinstein tells Rolling Stone. "I think marijuana has potential dangers to it. I think they need to be looked at  calibrated. I think we need to be concerned about young people, without judgement, particularly in cars. Particularly on Saturday night, smoking marijuana, candidly."But other lawmakers say it's time for Congress to take a stance on pot, even if they aren't ready to support Booker's new legislation."I think most people think members of Congress are high, so I don't know if it matters much anyway," Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner quipped to Rolling Stone before getting serious, saying Congress should take up the issue. "It's a conversation that Congress has to have. We should have committee hearings and we should have legislative debate on it. More and more states are answering this question on their own, and it's going to result in this sort of pell-mell collection of states defying federal law, and that has consequences."Source: Rolling Stone (US)Author:  Matt LasloPublished: August 1, 2017Copyright: 2017 Straight Arrow Publishers Company, L.P.Contact: letters rollingstone.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by Vincent on August 01, 2017 at 18:18:34 PT:
I am surprised at Sen. Collins, known as a "moderate", AND Sen. Feinstein, a so-called "liberal"!!! Whatsa matter with those two? Boy, if we can't count on people like these, what is a Legalizer to do? The "Orin Hatches of the World" are completely ignorant; I expected much more from Collins and Feinstein. 
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Comment #2 posted by Soupherb on August 01, 2017 at 17:16:05 PT:
A thousand thumbs up for your comment!
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on August 01, 2017 at 16:12:30 PT
Hello Susan Collins, you are ignorant:
and you are showing your ignorance on the facts:From previous article on Cnews: "Researchers studying the relationship between medical cannabis laws and opioid use have found that states with such laws have nearly a 25 percent reduction in opioid-related deaths. The contrast between opioids  which killed more than 33,000 Americans in 2015  and cannabis could not be more striking."And Feinstein, citing the ultimate catch-22, we don't know enough (because the DEA won't allow studies, see sched. 1, etc. bla, bla, bla...) .Round and round we go...We have people in government/congress, that do not know what they are voting on or talking about, Sessions, Feinstein, Collins, etc. etc. and THEY are making OUR laws and THEY do not have a clue!
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