Recreational marijuana use is legal in the District of Columbia and eight states, including California.
A senator in an East Coast state believes it should be legal across the United States.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is aiming to make pot legal federally. In a video posted Tuesday on the senator’s Facebook page, he explains that current laws unfairly target minorities and the poor, who are arrested at much higher rates than whites and the wealthy.
“Today I’m introducing the Marijuana Justice Act, a bill that if passed will legalize marijuana at the federal level and go even further in an effort to remedy many of the failures of the War on Drugs,” Booker wrote on the post. “This is the right thing to do for public safety, and will help reduce our overflowing prison population.”
Booker’s bill comes at a time when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pushing for a crackdown despite a push from several states to legalize marijuana. Sessions believes it’s “dangerous” and will lead to an increase in the use of cocaine and other illegal substances.
“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the (Justice) Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,” Sessions wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders in May, as reported by MassRoots, a site dedicated to the legalization of marijuana. “The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.”
Sessions’ stand on marijuana isn’t broadly supported, according to a CBS News poll which shows 61 percent of Americans favor legalization.