U.S. Democrats Introduce Bill to Revoke Cannabis Convictions on Federal Level

U.S. Capitol Hill police officers arrest protesters smoking marijuana on steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. April 24, 2017
U.S. Capitol Hill police officers arrest protesters smoking marijuana on steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. April 24, 2017. (Image via Reuters)

Yet in another effort to salvage their constituents from any further federal government crackdown, U.S. Democrats have introduced a bill on Wednesday to expunge marijuana convictions on a national level.

The news comes after incessant steps taken by Democrats to resist U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attempt to curb the growing trend to legalize marijuana. Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy that allowed states, where weed has already been legalized, to freely operate cannabis within their jurisdiction.

On Jan. 9 California’s Democrats introduced a similar bill, however, at a state level, aimed at expunging these convictions. On Jan. 13, a new bill has been introduced by the Democrats to protect states’ rights over marijuana

The Wednesday’s bill was introduced by Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna of California and sponsored by 12 House Democrats, Business Insider reported. 

Lee was the one behind California’s bill aimed at revoking convictions.

sessions, marijuana, bill
Rep. Barbara Lee of California addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. (Image via AP)

Meanwhile, the latest bill is a companion to Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act, introduced in the Senate last year, which removes marijuana from the federal government’s list of controlled dangerous substances.

Lee said the legislation is:

“A bold proposal to reverse decades of discriminatory drug enforcement and to bring federal marijuana policy in line with the wishes of the American people.”

In addition to removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act list, the bill suggests going a step further to provide “restorative justice” to communities disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests and convictions and create an “inclusive industry from the ground up,” Lee said in a Wednesday afternoon call with reporters.

The bill also proposed a layout to bring about $500 million in community reinvestment
The bill also proposed a layout to bring about $500 million in community reinvestment. (Image via Reuters)

Bill to Bring money to Communities  

The bill also proposed a layout to bring about $500 million in community reinvestment and to focus on job training for the burgeoning marijuana industry.

How will this happen?

This will be possible by cutting federal funding for law enforcement and prison construction in states found to disproportionately arrest or convict low-income residents or people of color for marijuana offenses.

The money from these cuts would contribute to the community reinvestment fund, the bill recommended.

On Jan. 1, California became the largest U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana. Soon after California’s legalization, Sessions annulled the Obama-era rule also known as the Cole Memo.

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