August 2, 2017 6:49 am
Updated: August 2, 2017 6:52 am

U.S. senator announces bill that could legalize marijuana nationwide

ABOVE: Sen. Cory Booker is introducing a bill called the Marijuana Justice Act to legalize marijuana at the federal level and reduce overflowing prison population.

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New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker says he’s introducing legislation to legalize marijuana at the federal level.

Booker announced his measure Tuesday in a Facebook Live video.

READ MORE: Weed around the world: what legal marijuana looks like in other countries

He says the legislation is needed to because the federal marijuana prohibition unfairly affects poor and minority citizens, who he says are subject to arrest at greater rates than wealthier and white people.

“Today I’m introducing the Marijuana Justice Act, a bill that if passed will legalize marijuana at the federal level and go even further in an effort to remedy many of the failures of the war on drugs. This is the right thing to do for public safety, and will help reduce our overflowing prison population,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

The legislation comes in the face of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ stiff opposition to the drug. Sessions has said he wants to crack down on the drug even as a growing number of states legalize it.

READ MORE: Jeff Sessions wants to crackdown on legal medical marijuana

Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana.

In New Jersey the Democratic front-runner for governor, Phil Murphy, supports legalization. Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno says she backs decriminalization.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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