“We need to end this federal prohibition,” Cory Booker said about marijuana legalization in a new Facebook video.
Every legal state except Massachusetts has pegged marijuana as an “essential business” amid the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers have loosened restriction around cannabis delivery and curbside pickup. Put simply, states have prioritized enabling marijuana access to residents.
So why has the federal government ignored legislation that would end cannabis prohibition? A Facebook user posed that question to Sen. Cory Booker, who called current federal marijuana law “woefully outdated.”
Tom on Facebook wants to know how in some cases marijuana businesses are essential, while federal law is still woefully outdated. pic.twitter.com/aMTu0aZMnG
— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) April 30, 2020
“I cannot tell you how much I agree with you, Tom,” Booker said. “There are people throughout this country right now who have PTSD from their military service, children falling into seizures with things like Dravet syndrome, not able to access what is a lifesaving drug for some people.
“Enough is enough,” he added. “We need to end this federal prohibition.”
Last year, Booker introduced the Marijuana Justice Act along with Rep. Barbara Lee. The bill would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances act, as well as provide social equity programs like expunging the majority of marijuana-related arrest records. Booker also ran on a pro-marijuana platform during his 2020 presidential candidacy, calling out presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden for his statements on cannabis.
It’s something I’m going to fight for,” Booker continued in the above video. “This hypocrisy, these drug laws that we have that archaic and cruel—they must end. I’m going to fight to make sure right now that this ugliness is over in our country and we do the right thing on the federal level. And our momentum is building by the way.”
Many marijuana companies, particularly those that touched the plant, did not qualify for coronavirus-related loans or aid in the first round of Small Business Administration (SBA) relief funds. With another round of funding expected soon, lawmakers have filed legislation that would open COVID-19 relief aid to cannabis companies, such as the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Along with ten other Senators, Booker signed a letter imploring the Appropriations Committee to include cannabis companies in COVID-19 financial aid.