The Marijuana Justice Act is co-sponsored by Bernie Sanders

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Bernie Sanders has announced that he will co-sponsor the Marijuana Justice Act.

This is one of many pro-cannabis moves made by the Vermont senator, who went down in history when he supported legalization of the plant during his time running for president in 2016.

A devoted supporter of cannabis policy reform way before it gained popularity, Sanders is proudly fighting the War on Drugs that has plagued America for so long.

In addition to this, the politician has petitioned the federal government for policy alterations and has proven his commitment to the industry at large by pushing for a reevaluation of cannabis’ Schedule I classification.

An overview of the Marijuana Justice Act co-sponsored by Bernie Sanders

Image result for bernie sanders marijuana justice actPolitical support for Sanders’ proposed cannabis policy is growing.

First introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) in August of last year, the Marijuana Justice Act “is the single most far-reaching marijuana bill that’s ever been filed in either chamber of Congress,” according to Marijuana Majority leader Tom Angell.

The House Version has since been co-sponsored by Representatives Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna.

It comprises four main components:

  1. Cannabis legalization on the federal level
  2. Job training in communities impacted by the War on Drugs to the amount of $500 million
  3. Retroactive removal of cannabis-related federal convictions
  4. Reduced law enforcement funding for states with a higher rate of black drug arrests.

Who else is backing the Marijuana Justice Act?

A number of Democrats have taken it upon themselves to co-sponsor the bill and demonstrate their support.

Thus far, 33 members of Congress have confirmed their name on the House and Senate versions of the Marijuana Justice Act co-sponsored by Bernie Sanders. Soon after Senator Booker introduced the act, Senior Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon made his move.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made her move in February. Previously, Gillibrand had publicly announced her disapproval of Jeff Sessions’ cannabis crackdown on more than one occasion.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

One of her tweets described Sessions as “willfully ignorant or cowing to corporate greed on behalf of pharma special interest profits.”

Now, with Sanders on board, things are looking hopeful for cannabis legalization.

“With Senator Sanders co-sponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act alongside Senators Booker and Gillibrand, it’s time for the party to speak with one voice that they will legalize marijuana and expunge the criminal convictions of the millions who are being held back from achieving both employment and the American dream,” NORML political director Justin Strekal revealed to Forbes.

Senator Sanders is a long-time supporter of cannabis legalization

He has been devoting years of his life to working on the rescheduling of cannabis and so, Bernie Sanders did not really surprise with his recent announcement to co-sponsor the Marijuana Justice Act.

Many years ago, the senator introduced the first Senate bill to reschedule cannabis.

As a long-time supporter of prison reform, Sanders wants to prevent private companies from operating jails.

He attempted to master this when he ran for President. It was at this time that he was recognized as a serious candidate for voting in favor of cannabis legalization.

This year, we have seen Sanders continuously promoting legalization, with the Senator requesting supporters of his presidential run to petition Congress.

“Marijuana prohibition is part of a larger failed war on drugs that has led to the great national crisis of mass incarceration,” Sanders wrote in a bulk email to his loyal constituents.

If the Marijuana Justice Act is put into motion, cannabis will be legalized nationally. Not only this, but decades of racial law enforcement will be reversed.