NEWARK, N.J. -- U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate's Judiciary Committee and author of the landmark Marijuana Justice Act, issued the following statement in support of New Jersey's efforts to legalize marijuana.
"New Jersey is the first state in the country to couple decriminalizing marijuana with strong criminal justice reform measures to redress the decades of immense harm inflicted by an unfair system. All too often, communities of color and low-income individuals are unjustly impacted by our broken drug policies, but by including measures to expunge records and reinvest in the communities most impacted, our state has the opportunity to lead in prioritizing social justice. With this bill, New Jersey legislators can send a strong message to the country that marijuana legalization and social justice must be inextricably linked. I'm hopeful our state will succeed in setting this example."
Booker is the author of landmark legislation in the Senate -- the Marijuana Justice Act -- that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana, expunge records, and reinvest in communities most impacted by the War on Drugs.
Having seen the effects of our broken criminal justice laws first-hand, dating back to his time as a tenant lawyer, City Council member, and Mayor Newark, Booker has made criminal justice reform a priority issue in the U.S. Senate. He was a key architect of the First Step Act, the most sweeping overhaul of the country's criminal justice system in a decade, which was signed into law in December 2018. Booker was instrumental in adding key sentencing provisions to the package after opposing the House-passed version of the bill. Booker also successfully fought to include provisions that effectively eliminate the solitary confinement of juveniles in federal supervision.