Criminal justice reform bill would expunge records for use and possession & reinvest in low-income and minority communities
Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today cosponsored the Marijuana Justice Act to end the federal prohibition on marijuana.
“This long-overdue change will help bring our marijuana laws into the 21st century,” Bennet said. “It’s past time we bring fairness and relief to communities that our criminal justice system has too often left behind.”
The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to reverse decades of drug policy that has disproportionately affected low-income communities and communities of color. Beyond removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances – making it legal at the federal level – the bill also would automatically expunge the convictions of those who have served federal time for marijuana use and possession offenses, and it would reinvest in low-income and minority communities through a community reinvestment fund. This fund could be used for projects such as job training programs, re-entry services, and community centers.
The bill also would incent states through the use of 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.
By going further than simply rescheduling marijuana with expungement and community reinvestment, the Marijuana Justice Act is the most far-reaching marijuana legislation ever to be introduced in Congress.