The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) included ending the federal prohibition of marijuana in a list of 10 “must-do policies” to “address issues hurting both communities of color and rural communities” that the 48-member group released on Friday.
Number four on the list is “Ending the War on Drugs,” which includes these bullet points:
*Decriminalize the use and possession of marijuana allowing states to make their own decisions and end federal prohibition and related law enforcement of marijuana.
*Remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and create a “Community Reinvestment Fund” to invest in communities most impacted by the War on Drugs, for programs such as job training, reentry, community centers, and more.
*Retroactively eliminate mandatory minimums for federal drug offenses and require the Attorney General to reinstitute the Smart on Crime directive and pass codifying legislation.
*Instruct the U.S. Sentencing Commission to amend the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines accordingly.
“If Democrats take back the House next Congress, CBC would insist that they pass these policies within the first 100 days,” a press release from the caucus says.
Political watchers believe that Democrats have a good chance of regaining the majority of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in the November midterm elections. The new Congress will be seated in January.
“Here’s the reality: If we want to truly help people of color, women, those in rural communities, workers, the poor, and others, then we have to put people in charge who share those values,” CBC Chairman Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA) said in a statement about the list.
Analyses have consistently shown that while people of color use cannabis at roughly the same rate as whites, they are much more likely to be arrested, convicted and incarcerated for marijuana offenses.
Last month, CBC released a separate position statement calling for broad cannabis reforms, including “automatic expungement for those convicted of misdemeanors for marijuana-related offenses, and an easy path to expungement for those previously convicted of felonies for marijuana-related offenses.”
And in May, leaders of the caucus included cannabis descheduling as a provision of the sweeping 1,227-page Jobs and Justice Act, a bill intended to “increase the upward social mobility of Black families, and help ensure equal protection under the law.”
Other moves on the CBC’s new “must-do” list include banning private prisons, increasing access to affordable housing, gun safety reforms, health care expansion and the protections of voting rights.
Marijuana Moment Patreon supporters can read the CBC’s full list of 10 Must-Do Policies below:
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