Over 60% of Americans believe marijuana use should be legal, and 94% support adult use of marijuana for medical purposes. A New England Journal of Medicine poll found 76% of physicians support the use of marijuana for treatment of certain illnesses. The changing tide of public opinion is also reflected in the growing number of states legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational use, with ten states plus Washington DC having legalized recreational marijuana and 33 states plus DC allowing medical use. However, states’ efforts to relax marijuana laws conflict with the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which classifies marijuana, along with drugs like heroin and cocaine, as a Schedule I drug with no accepted medical use.
To reconcile federal and state laws, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has introduced S. 597, The Marijuana Justice Act of 2019, which would legalize marijuana by removing marijuana as a Schedule I drug from the Controlled Substances Act. The bill would also expunge previous marijuana use and possession convictions and applies retroactively to people currently serving time for such convictions. Lastly, the bill establishes a fund to reinvest in communities most affected by the federal government’s war on drugs.
Urge your members of Congress to support this overdue legislation to end the costly and harmful prosecution of a socially accepted recreational drug.