Booker and Fetterman continue to push for marijuana legalization with a focus on justice
Democrat Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Pennsylvania Lt. gov. John Fetterman (D) continues to push hard for cannabis policy reform.
“With a majority of Americans on both sides of the aisle supporting legalization, we know there is opportunity,” Booker said in pre-recorded video at the Cannabis Opportunities Conference. He added that given the state and national support for legalizing marijuana, there is hope for a change in policy, Marijuana Moment reported. “However, we must evolve our focus, vision and strategies to ensure that we expand economic, social — and particularly within our criminal justice system — fairness, equality and opportunity.”
The political summit of the event was chaired by PA State Senator Sharif Street (D).
Booker, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the draft Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act (CAOA) in July 2021. The proposal seeks to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), overturning previous convictions and allowing those serving time for relevant offenses to seek re-sentencing.
US Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) (C), along with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) (L) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) / Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
As marijuana policy reform gathers momentum across the country, Booker is urging the federal government to join the program, especially when it comes to justice.
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“This legalization movement really needs to continue to focus on removing barriers to justice for marginalized communities,” he said. “This movement has to be about expanding economic opportunities and democratizing those opportunities well. This movement must be about not allowing us to step backwards in any way, but to continue to make strides forward towards justice.”
Fetterman remains committed to reform
To that end, Fetterman, a longtime cannabis advocate, spoke about the deletion — a “unique, large-scale pardons effort” by Gov. Tom Wolf and Fetterman, the chair of the state Parolees Board. Under the program, which began earlier this month, Pennsylvanians convicted of possession of small amounts of marijuana can request to have their files wiped.
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Photo by Nate Smallwood/Getty Images
“Pennsylvania is a place for second chances,” Fetterman said, adding that the collaborative effort “will help people get pardons quickly for stupid weed convictions.”
Fetterman, who is running for a Senate seat, recently urged President Biden to remove marijuana from a Schedule I drug and work to decriminalize it. Shortly thereafter, Fetterman and the President crossed paths in Pittsburgh, discussing possible changes to the status of cannabis under the CSA in a union hall ahead of Biden’s Labor Day.
This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been republished with permission.