Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) announced Thursday that she will be joining Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in co-sponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act, which would de-schedule marijuana and require federal courts to expunge the criminal records of Americans convicted of marijuana use or possession.
“It’s the right thing to do. And I know this as a former prosecutor. I know it as a senator,” Harris said. “I just look at what we want as a country and where we need to be instead of where we’ve been.”
Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the smart thing to do and it’s the right thing to do. Today, I’m announcing my support for @CoryBooker’s Marijuana Justice Act. pic.twitter.com/cOh3SjMaOW
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) May 10, 2018
“African-Americans use marijuana at roughly the same rate as whites but are approximately four times more likely to be arrested for possession,” Harris continued. “The fact is marijuana laws are not applied and enforced the same way for all people.”
Harris believes the legislation will prevent the Justice Department from enforcing “unjust and unfair” laws.
“The war on drugs was a war on communities,” Harris said, adding that law enforcement officers should be dealing with more serious drugs and crimes. “Not somebody smoking a joint.”
The Hill added:
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in February announced that she would co-sponsor the act with Booker. Gillibrand is also considered to be a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, as is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who backs the bill as well.
So far, nine states and Washington, D.C. have legalized the drug for recreational use for adults over the age of 21. Michigan will hold a vote to legalize recreational pot this year, potentially making it the 10th state and first in the Midwest to legalize.