Rep. Ilhan Omar Calls for Cannabis Legalization

In an interview with BET on July 3, Rep. Ilhan Omar called for cannabis legalization on the federal level in order to fight inequality through restorative acts of justice.

So far, eleven states have legalized recreational cannabis and those states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Dozens of other states also allow medical cannabis in one form or another. But with laws that vary from state to state, Americans continue to suffer because of cannabis laws.

“What happens [without full legalization] is you will have a state where someone is publicly and professionally able to profit and the next state, someone could be sent to life [in prison] for it,” Omar said. “We want to make sure that there is equality in our laws. I don’t think it is just for that kind of economy to exist within this policy.”

Her latest statements echo past statements on cannabis. On April 20, Omar called for the legalization of cannabis as well as expungement processes for communities that have been negatively impacted by the “War on Drugs.” The Minnesota representative favors federal legalization, while others like Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar believe it should be handled at the state level. 

Omar is a co-sponsors of the Marijuana Justice Act of 2019, along with now 47 other co-sponsors in the House. The list includes Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Ed Perlmutter. In the Senate, the bill is also supported by Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand, who are all running for president of the United States.

So far, the Marijuana Justice Act of 2019 has failed to get a hearing in the U.S. Senate or House. Most recently, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.




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