Credo Action

Tell Congress: Pass the Marijuana Justice Act

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The petition to Congress reads:

"End the war on drugs. Pass the Marijuana Justice Act."

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    Tell Congress: Pass the Marijuana Justice Act

    With five percent of the world's population, but a quarter of its prisoners, the United States is at a crisis point. Our criminal justice system is in desperate need of reform and it's up to us to fix it.

    Nearly half of the country's federal inmates are poor people of color in prison on drug related convictions.1 Democrats Sen. Cory Booker and Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna have introduced legislation that would set many of these prisoners free.

    The Marijuana Justice Act would put an end to the racist War on Drugs by legalizing cannabis nationwide and expunging all federal convictions for possessing or using it.2 Progressive champion Sen. Bernie Sanders just added his support for this bill.3 Speak out now to urge every Democrat and Republican of good conscience to follow his lead.

    Tell Congress: End the war on drugs. Pass the Marijuana Justice Act.

    Public support for legalizing marijuana is at an all-time high. Two-thirds of Americans are in favor of ending prohibition.

    The Marijuana Justice Act is the most far-reaching marijuana reform bill that has ever been introduced in Congress. It would:4

    • Legalize cannabis nationwide.
    • Expunge all federal convictions for possessing or using cannabis.
    • Fund libraries and job training programs in communities torn apart by the War on Drugs.
    • Cut federal funds for prison construction in states where marijuana arrests have disproportionately affected people of color and poor people.

    Nine states and Washington D.C. have already legalized cannabis use for adults and have allocated marijuana revenues for social good.5 In Colorado, Oregon and Nevada, cannabis revenue funds public schools and bullying prevention programs. Oregon, Washington and Alaska are funding alcohol and drug treatment programs and basic health care. California and Massachusetts will use their revenues to revitalize low-income communities of color torn apart by high drug arrests and incarcerations. If cannabis becomes legal nationwide, local government won't be the only ones benefiting.

    The Marijuana Justice Act legalizes cannabis and also goes one step further by radically reforming our criminal justice system. A 2013 ACLU study found that police were four times more likely to arrest and imprison Black people for marijuana possession than white people, despite similar rates of use.6 The majority of people currently serving time in prison for cannabis related convictions are Black and Brown. This important bill would give many of these prisoners their freedom and prevent millions of people from ever entering the country's broken criminal justice system.

    Tell Congress: End the war on drugs. Pass the Marijuana Justice Act.

    Former Speaker of the House John Boehner, who fought marijuana legalization for years, recently changed his position and announced that he had joined the board of directors of a major marijuana corporation.7 He is just the latest in a long line of wealthy white conservatives who now see legal cannabis as big business and want to profit from it.

    The Marijuana Justice Act will make sure that legalizing cannabis helps right the wrongs of the failed War on Drugs, not just line the pockets of corporate shills like Boehner.

    Reforming our criminal justice system and passing legislation to end the War on Drugs won’t happen overnight, and certainly not in this Congress. But building momentum can start now and make a big difference. Will you add your name?

    Tell Congress: End the war on drugs. Pass the Marijuana Justice Act.

    Thank you for taking action.

    References:

    1. Federal Bureau of Prisons, "Inmate Statistics: Offenses," March 24, 2018.
    2. Jordain Carney, "Booker introduces bill to legalize marijuana," The Hill, Aug. 1, 2017.
    3. Benjamin Fearnow, "Bernie Sanders joins Cory Booker's Marijuana Justice Act to federally legalize weed," Newsweek, April 19, 2018.
    4. Carney, "Booker introduces bill to legalize marijuana.
    5. Drug Policy Institute, "From Prohibition to Progress: A Status Report on Marijuana Legalization," Jan. 22, 2018.
    6. Dylan Matthews, "The black/white marijuana arrest gap, in nine charts," The Washington Post, June 4, 2013.
    7. Daniel Victor, "John Boehner’s Marijuana Reversal: 'My Thinking on Cannabis Has Evolved,'" The New York Times, April 11, 2018.