McCormick would repeal federal marijuana prohibition

Democrat Lisa McCormick said she supports legislation that would remove marijuana from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act, and make cannabis legal for use by adults in the United States and chided incumbent US Senator Robert Menendez for scoring poorly on a congressional scorecard.

“Legalizing marijuana in the United States could save billions by reducing government spending for the ineffectual prohibition enforcement and rampant abuse of the criminal justice system,” said McCormick. “Marijuana is legal for medical or recreational purposes in a growing majority of states. George Washington grew hemp at Mount Vernon. Despite the historic and modern benefits of this plant, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum, an Obama-era policy that discouraged U.S. Attorneys from enforcing federal laws against state-legal cannabis enterprises.”

“No American should be jailed for smoking marijuana,” said McCormick. “The so-called ‘war on drugs’ declared by President Richard Nixon has been an unmitigated failure that cost billions of taxpayer dollars and ruined millions of lives instead of addressing a public health issue in a sensible and intelligent way.”

Colorado collected $135 million in taxes and fees during 2015 and advocates estimate the financial benefits of legalization in New Jersey would include $300 million a year in sales tax revenue.

Eight out of ten Americans support the medical use of marijuana, nearly 3 out of 4 Americans would only fine (no jail) recreational smokers and 58% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, according polling referenced by McCormick.

“It is time to respect the freedom of adults to make their own choices in balance with everyone’s obligation to refrain from causing harm,” said McCormick.

Gov. Phil Murphy proposed marijuana legalization during his campaign and Evan Nison, executive director of NORML New Jersey, an organization that advocates the legalization of marijuana has said, “This is something that a vast majority of Americans want, and a vast majority of New Jersey residents want.”

McCormick said if she is elected, she would seek to become a cosponsor to The Marijuana Justice Act, which would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.

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