Booker calls for legalizing marijuana as he launches 2020 bid

Democratic Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDespite Senate setbacks, the fight for voting rights is far from over Small ranchers say Biden letting them get squeezed Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (N.J.) is calling for the legalization of marijuana as part of his 2020 presidential campaign.

Booker discussed criminal justice reform and the need for "changing our drug laws," including “ending [the] prohibition against marijuana" on the radio-syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show" on Friday.


"We do not have equal justice under the law," Booker said of the disproportionate rate at which people in the black community are incarcerated under the country's drug laws. “I believe in redemption."

"This is a cancer on the soul of our country," he continued. "Too many of our children are being shuttled into cages."

The interview marked his first since announcing his bid for the presidency on Twitter early Friday, which also marked the first day of Black History Month.

Booker said in the interview that he chose to publicly discuss his run first with Joyner, the founder of the website Black America Web, because of what the host and his show mean “to so many people in this country.”

Last year, Booker introduced the Marijuana Justice Act, which would eliminate marijuana's status as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. 

The move would also require federal courts to expunge the records of Americans who have prior marijuana convictions related to use or possession.