Booker endorses New Jersey marijuana legalization bill

Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (D-N.J.) on Friday endorsed New Jersey state Democrats’ bill to legalize marijuana.

The senator, who is running for president in 2020, is the author of legislation to legalize marijuana nationwide.

In a statement, Booker said New Jersey’s bill can help fix the criminal justice system.

“All too often, communities of color and low-income individuals are unjustly impacted by our broken drug policies, but by including measures to expunge records and reinvest in the communities most impacted, our state has the opportunity to lead in prioritizing social justice,” Booker said.

“With this bill, New Jersey legislators can send a strong message to the country that marijuana legalization and social justice must be inextricably linked,” he said.

The New Jersey bill would allow adults over 21 years old to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. It would also purge the criminal records of people who have been convicted of marijuana-related crimes and establish a framework for regulating and taxing the new industry.

Legalizing marijuana was a key part of the campaign of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D). The state Senate and Assembly are scheduled to vote on the legislation Monday, but it’s not clear if there is enough support for it to pass.

Ten states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana to date.