New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker introduced to the federal prohibition of marijuana on Thursday, joined by a series of other announced and potential Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls including Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris.
Harris' support seemingly cemented here full-scale reversal on the issue. In 2010, Harris was among a handful of lawmakers – including then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – to oppose Proposition 19, a measure to legalize recreational marijuana and allow it to be sold and taxed. Then San Francisco's district attorney, Harris called Proposition 19 a "flawed public policy."
The move comes as polling increasingly shows widespread national support for legalizing the drug. A Fox News poll last year showed that 59 percent of voters support legalizing marijuana ̵
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"The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to reverse decades of this unfair, unjust, and failed policy by removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances and making it legal to the federal level."
Booker added: "But it's not enough to simply decriminalize marijuana. We also have to repair the damage caused by reinvestment in those communities that have been most harmed by the War on Drugs. And we have to expand the records of those who have served their time. The end we seek is not just legalization, it's justice. ”
Booker's bill was co-sponsored not only by Harris, Sanders, Gillibrand, and Warren, but also by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Or., Jeff Merkley, D-Or., And Michael Benne, D-Co.
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'lives have been devastated because of our broken marijuana policies, especially in communities of color and low-income communities,' Gillibrand said. “I'm proud to work with Senator Booker on this legislation to help fix decades of injustice caused by our nation's failed drug policies.” Added Sanders: “As I said during my 2016 campaign, hundreds of thousands of people are arrested for possession of marijuana every single year. Many of those people have disproportionately people of color, have seen their lives negatively impacted because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That has got to change. We must end the absurd situation of marijuana being listed as a Schedule 1 drug alongside heroin. It is time to decriminalize marijuana, expose past marijuana convictions and end the failed drugs. "For her part, Harris echoed Booker's sentiments and seems to be embraced here on marijuana. Despite her opposition to legalizing the drug, the former California attorney general recently boasted about smoking as a college student on the popular New York City-based radio program "The Breakfast Club," counting hosts DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne tha God that she's "inhaled" from a joint "a long time ago."
"I think it gives a lot of people joy. And we need more joy in the world, "Harris added, claiming she used to list to Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur – though they didn't release their albums during Harris's college years – while she's reportedly got high.
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In co-sponsoring Booker's bill on Thursday, Harris, like Booker, suggested that prohibitions on the drug disproportionately affect black men
“Marijuana laws in this country have not been applied equally, and as a result we have criminalized marijuana using a way that has led to the disproportionate incarceration of young men of color. said. "Legalizing marijuana is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do in order to advance justice and equality for every American."
Warran, meanwhile, added: "Marijuana should be legalized, and we should clean the records of thos e unjustly jailed for minor marijuana crimes. By outlawing marijuana, the federal government puts communities of color, small businesses, public health and safety at risk. "Last year, California became the largest legal US marijuana marketplace, Massachusetts opened the first recreational shops on the East Coast, Canada legalized it in most provinces, and Mexico's Supreme Court recognized the rights of individuals to use marijuana, the country closer to broad legalization.
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New Hampshire lawmakers on Wednesday gift preliminary approval to legalizing recreational marijuana, dismissing public safety and health concerns on a path to join scores of other states that have passed similar cannabis measures.
Legalized recreational marijuana – including the three bordering New Hampshire – while New York, New Jersey and others are considering it this year.
Fox News' Jennifer Earl and The Associated Press tributed to this report.