The new legislation would go far beyond simply decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.
A bill, introduced by the duo on Tuesday, would expunge marijuana-based convictions and use tax revenue to help create trust funds for communities impacted by the War on Drugs.
“Times have changed—marijuana should not be a crime,” Harris, a 2020 presidential candidate said in a statement about the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. “We need to start regulating marijuana, and expunge marijuana convictions from the records of millions of Americans so they can get on with their lives. As marijuana becomes legal across the country, we must make sure everyone—especially communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs—has a real opportunity to participate in this growing industry.”
The bill is already backed by heavy hitters in the advocacy community, including groups like the Drug Policy Alliance, the ACLU and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). And a Harris aide pointed to the importance of having Nadler on board as evidence of the legislation’s fundamental seriousness.
Published: July 23, 2019