(From the 2017 Archives)
What a month! First, a bipartisan group of Senators introduces the CARERS Act in an effort to protect medical marijuana and increase research. Then, a lawsuit is filed against the Attorney General and Department of Justice claiming marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug is unconstitutional. Now, a new bill introduced by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) would end federal marijuana prohibition.
The only way things could get any better would be if the new bill had an awesome name. Something with “Justice” in it, maybe. Something like…
The Marijuana Justice Act
The first thing the Marijuana Justice Act would do is deschedule marijuana from the list of controlled substances. This wouldn’t override state law or immediately make marijuana legal in all U.S. states and territories, but it would take the federal government largely out of the equation.
In addition to making the world a happier place by removing marijuana restrictions, the MJA also aims to address serious, systemic issues that have plagued the U.S. prison system. Over 50 percent of current federal prison inmates are in for drug offenses. Nearly 1 in 3 non-violent drug offenders are locked up for marijuana-related crimes – the highest rate for any drug tracked by the DOJ.
After a marijuana conviction, many individuals struggle to find work, housing, business licenses. The MJA would work to retroactively resentence or expunge the records of people who have been convicted of marijuana offenses, removing a barrier that has prevented many individuals from taking control of their lives after a conviction.
Additionally, the bill would create financial incentives for states to legalize marijuana and reduce racial disparity in marijuana law enforcement, further reducing the prison population and ongoing incarceration of non-violent, low-level offenders.
Finally, communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana laws can apply for community reinvestment funds. Such funds could go toward:
- Job training
- Recover and reentry services
- Expenses related to expungement of convictions
- Investment in libraries, community centers, and other resources
Potential Stumbling Blocks
Despite the marijuana momentum that seems to be growing nationwide, the Marijuana Justice Act is being called a longshot by many experts. While the vast majority of voters approve of medical marijuana, opinions are a bit more divided on the issue of recreational marijuana use. And, with the CARERS Act and a current cannabis lawsuit pending, Congresspersons can come out in favor of responsible marijuana legalization without supporting the MJA and alienating their more conservative voters who are opposed to full decriminalization.
Even if the Marijuana Justice Act doesn’t pass, however, we’re seeing a clear trend toward decriminalization. Public opinion – and now the actions of a number of Senators – have started the cannaball rolling. It’s only a matter of time before marijuana momentum picks up enough speed to crash through the wall of prohibition like the Kool-Aid man. Ohhh yeah!
Karing Kind is Boulder’s First Recreational Marijuana Dispensary
We strive to offer a top-tier experience every time you enter our store. Our extensive menu, award-winning budtenders, incredible deals, and the lowest marijuana tax rate in the state make us the perfect Colorado cannabis destination.
Karing Kind is located just off of US-36, one mile north of Broadway, open DAILY from 9am to 10pm.
While we carry a variety of strains, concentrates, edibles, salves and tinctures, inventory and stock levels fluctuate from week to week and month to month. Check our menu and follow us on Twitter for an up-to-date list of edibles, concentrates and buds available now.