New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) is joining with New Jersey Senator Corey Booker (D) to cosponsor a bill that would end federal prohibition of marijuana.
Gillibrand and Booker announced their support for the Marijuana Justice Act of 2018 Wednesday afternoon on facebook live.
The duo say they've seen many lives disturbed or even ruined by non-violent marijuana charges, and they say statistics show minorities are disproportionately affected by strict marijuana laws.
"I think this is an idea whose time has come, Senator Gillibrand said. "The country is behind this. They've seen how these unfair laws have harmed too many people, ruined their lives and hurt them deeply. So this has to change."
The bill would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances and allow states to decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana use. It would also provide states with federal funds to change their marijuana laws if those laws were shown to have a disproportionate effect on low-income individuals and/or people of color.
The bill is retroactive and would apply to those already serving time behind bars for marijuana-related offenses, providing for a judge’s review of marijuana sentences.
There is a companion bill in the House of Representatives that was introduced by Congresswoman Barabara Lee (D-CA-13).