Grow, Gift, Repair

Federal legalization in 2019

And all of this is just the tip of the iceberg for progressive marijuana reforms introduced in Congress. Among the more high-profile legislative efforts is the Marijuana Justice Act, introduced by Senator Cory Booker. The bill would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, expunge criminal records for people convicted of low-level offenses, create a half million dollar “community reinvestment fund” for communities most devastated by the War on Drugs, and even cut federal law enforcement and prison funds from states with especially disproportionate marijuana enforcement in low-income and minority communities.

Tvert believes the divided party rule of Congress will not slow down the progress of marijuana law reform. “We’ve seen a lot of leadership among Republicans, especially on the Senate side, that we hope will translate into increased support and further movement on this issue in the coming session,” Tvert said. “There have been a growing number of Republican co-sponsors on these pieces of reform legislation and with the Democrats now in control of the House we’re hopeful that some of these reforms will advance and be signed into law next year.”

The White House isn’t an obstacle, either, he added, given some promising remarks in support of marijuana law reform. “President Trump has said he would likely support the STATES Act, which is a stronger statement than has ever been made by a sitting president,” Tvert said.

“The American people will have to get civically engaged and publicly participate in this upcoming session to ensure federal change in the next two years,” said Kamani Jefferson, a marijuana lobbyist for the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council (MRCC). “It’s simply a once in a lifetime opportunity to get behind the politics of cannabis. The fact that Congress is proactively talking about bills to resolve banking, to keep this a states’ rights issue and to provide equity to folks from areas disproportionately harmed by prohibition is all promising.”