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Cory Booker introduced a bill to legalize marijuana at the federal level


Updated August 01, 2017 12:38 PM EDT

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker wrote on Facebook Tuesday that the the Marijuana Justice Act is "the right thing to do for public safety, and will help reduce our overflowing prison population."

The bill currently has no co-sponsors, but Booker hopes that will change once lawmakers learn more about it.

"The effects of the drug war have had a disproportionately devastating impact on Americans of color and the poor," Booker wrote. "If passed [the bill] will legalize marijuana at the federal level and go even further in an effort to remedy many of the failures of the War on Drugs."

In his Facebook Live video, Booker said that the states that have moved to legalize marijuana and are seeing positive outcomes.

"These states are seeing a decrease in violent crimes and an increase in revenue," he said.

Booker said Attorney Jeff Sessions is threatening states that are legalizing marijuana.

"It disturbs me that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is not moving in the directions like these states," Booker said. "Instead he is doubling down."

In June, Sessions wrote to Congress to ask congressional leaders to to undo federal medical-marijuana laws.

"I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime," he said in the letter. "The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives."

Queen Adesuyi, a policy associate at the Drug Policy Alliance says the bill will repair the damage done by the War on Drugs and put a end to marijuana-related arrests.

“The question is no longer ‘should we legalize marijuana?’ it is 'how do we legalize marijuana?"

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will introduce a bill to legalize marijuana at a federal level on Tuesday. He's expected to discuss the measure on his Facebook page at 12:30 p.m. EST.

The bill, known as the Marijuana Justice Act, will allow people serving time for marijuana-related offenses to be resentenced and automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes. It will also use federal funds to encourage states to liberalize their marijuana laws.

Booker said that the current federal drug laws "divert critical resources from fighting violent crimes."

“They don’t make our communities any safer – instead they divert critical resources from fighting violent crimes, tear families apart, unfairly impact low-income communities and communities of color, and waste billions in taxpayer dollars each year," Booker said.

Booker introduced a bill in June that would allow patients to access medical marijuana in states where it is legal without "fear of federal prosecution."

“Federal marijuana policy has long overstepped the boundaries of common sense, fiscal prudence, and compassion,” Booker said. "This bill will help ensure that people who can benefit from medical marijuana – from children suffering from chronic illnesses to veterans battling PTSD – can do so without worrying about the federal government standing in the way.”

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