Monday, November 28, 2022

Sen. Cory Booker Open To Passing Marijuana Banking First, With This Condition

He’s called the SAFE Banking Act a “very important” measure, though believes it should include “some restorative justice as well.”

By Jelena Martinovic

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is “open to compromises” when it comes to federal cannabis reform. He is even considering the possibility that his chamber could green-light a marijuana banking measure that would include social equity components, before taking action on the Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act (CAOA), the senator signaled in a recent interview published by NJ Spotlight News.

In late July, Booker, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a long-awaited marijuana bill that would decriminalize and deschedule cannabis on the federal level, while also promoting social equity.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Holds News Conference Introducing The Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) (C), joined by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) (L) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) / Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Shortly after, Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, chaired by Booker, held a hearing called “Decriminalizing Cannabis at the Federal Level: Necessary Steps to Address Past Harm,” during which the senator called for an end to the federal ban on marijuana, saying that “federal cannabis prohibition has failed.”

Despite criticism for accepting a more dialed-back approach to the issue of federal marijuana reform, the senator remains firm in his position to be open to compromise.

“New Jersey sent me down here to get things done—not to make stands where I make good points but don’t pass bills,” Booker said. “I’m open to compromises that are going to achieve my goals of safety, of investment opportunities that are equal for business communities and, finally, to make sure we do something for all of these people right now who have marijuana possession charges that deserve some relief from the impact that it’s having on their economic and family wellbeing.”

RELATED: Sen. Cory Booker Says Cannabis Reform Is A Civil Rights Issue In New Op-Ed

Referring to the bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act that seeks to protect financial institutions wanting to provide their services to state-legal marijuana businesses, Booker supports it. He’s called it a “very important” measure, though believes it should include “some restorative justice as well.”

SAFE Banking Act has passed the House seven times. However, it is still in the Senate under Republican and Democratic leadership.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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