Legislation decriminalizing marijuana introduced in Congress


WASHINGTON, D.C. (KETK) – Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has filed legislation along with Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.

Their goal is to repair “the damage done by the war on drugs.”

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE) would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act. This would allow states to write their own restrictions and laws.

It would also create protection from federal prosecution, such as prohibiting federal agencies from denying benefits and deporting people for the use of marijuana.

“Racially motivated enforcement of marijuana laws has disproportionately impacted communities of color,” Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “It’s past time to right this wrong nationwide and work to view marijuana use as an issue of personal choice and public health, not criminal behavior.”

Eleven states have legalized recreational use while lawmakers are interested in loosening federal laws and giving state’s more freedom.

“This is the most comprehensive and functional legislation put forth,” Justin Strekal, political director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said of the Nadler-Harris proposal.

The Nadler-Harris bill uses tax revenue from cannabis sales to set up three funds to help communities that have been harmed by drug abuse. The grant would provide job training, legal aid, and more opportunities for social programs.

On Tuesday, the bill will be introduced by Nadler in the House and Harris in the Senate.

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