Cory Booker Wants to Legalize Marijuana in the United States

February 28, 2019, 10:07 PM UTC

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, one of several Democratic candidates running in the 2020 presidential election, has reintroduced a new version of the Marijuana Justice Act. The bill was introduced with California Representatives Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee, who is co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. Booker’s marijuana bill returns at an interesting time, when cannabis has been legalized in a number of states, including the District of Columbia, fueling the growing recreational cannabis industry.

The Marijuana Justice Act of 2019 would remove marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of controlled substances and make weed legal nationwide. Equally important to many voters, the law would retroactively expunge existing marijuana-related criminal records at a federal level, something that some jurisdictions such as San Francisco have already started to do.

Back in 2017, Senator Booker introduced a bill of the same name that would have also removed cannabis from the DEA’s list and cleared all criminal convictions related to marijuana. That bill did not advance past the Senate.

Sen. Booker announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential race at the beginning of February, and in addition to his longtime support for the legalization of marijuana, he has called for other criminal justice reform measures and for importing prescription drugs from Canada.