Business Insider reports that two House Democrats have introduced a bill “that would decriminalize possession of all drugs including heroin, cannabis, cocaine, and LSD, and ensure that past drug use wouldn’t get in the way of jobs or voting prospects.”
Democratic Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey and Cori Bush of Missouri introduced the legislation, the Drug Policy Reform Act, on Tuesday. The lawmakers argue their bill would help address the fact Black and brown communities in the US face a disproportionate number of drug-related convictions despite having no higher incidence of drug use than white people.
The bill would end criminal penalties for drug possession at the federal level and push states to follow suit by otherwise limiting how much federal funding they get for crime-prevention programs and law enforcement.
Bush and Watson Coleman are introducing the bill roughly five decades after President Richard Nixon declared the “war on drugs” and at a time when the current president, Joe Biden, has refused to offer full-throated support for cannabis legalization.
Image credit: Screengrabs / Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman ; MSNBC / YouTube