In recent times, and especially since the introduction of the marijuana legalization bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has solidified himself as the figurehead of the federal cannabis legalization movement — but he's far from the only advocate pushing for reform.
Keep reading as we highlight the other heavy hitters taking a substantial position for cannabis legalization.
First, we have Senator Corey Booker. He is a longtime advocate for marijuana reform, with an idea of “restorative justice” that is centered around the disproportionate harm experienced by black and brown Americans.
“I’m hoping that all the industries out there that know that they’re going to make tremendous profits join me in standing up for what I think is the greatest act of patriotism there in saying, 'I’m not going to put my interest alone.'
I’m actually going to look out for my fellow American. I’m actually going to pledge to them that I’m going to fight for those people who are in economic devastation because of a nonviolent marijuana charge, that I’m going to make sure that we take care of everybody."
Another major proponent of cannabis legalization; since unveiling her federal marijuana reform bill back in 2020, Warren has continued promoting unionization and economic potential of a federally-legal cannabis industry.
“Legalizing marijuana is about more than just allowing recreational use, or the potential medicinal benefit, or the money that can be made from this new market.
It’s about undoing a century of racist policy that disproportionately targeted Black and Latinx communities. It’s about rebuilding the communities that have suffered the most harm. And it’s about ensuring that everyone has access to the opportunities that the new cannabis market provides.”
Third, we have Senator Jeff Merkley. Another co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act alongside Corey Booker, Sen. Merkley has been working on delivering the SAFE act, which aims to allow legal cannabis businesses to access banking and other financial services.
“No one working in a store or behind a register should have to worry about experiencing a traumatic robbery at any moment. That means we can’t keep forcing legal cannabis businesses to operate entirely in cash—a nonsensical rule that is an open invitation to robbery and money laundering.
Let’s make 2021 the year that we get this bill signed into law so we can ensure that all legal cannabis businesses have access to the financial services they need to help keep their employees safe.”
Last, but certainly not least, any discussion about cannabis legalization and social justice must surely include Senator Bernie Sanders. A longstanding defender of legalizing cannabis — Bernie positions himself as a staple piece at the forefront of the fight for federal legalization— as well as the vacating and expunging of all cannabis-related convictions.
“My own view is that the so-called war on drugs has been an abysmal failure. It has destroyed god knows how many lives, disproportionately African American and Latino. What you are now seeing is a radical change of consciousness with regard to that war. You are seeing state after state after state legalizing marijuana.”
In conclusion, from Booker to Sanders, these big names in cannabis reform all show similar interests and goals in their mission for undoing the damage caused by the War on Drugs - and creating a safe, legal future for marijuana in the United States.
Stay tuned to our NACB blog page for more news about cannabis legalization, and other pertinent educational content.