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Sen. Cory Booker Calls Marijuana A ‘Dangerous Drug’ Despite Advocating Equity-Centered Legalization

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has been a vocal advocate for equity-centered federal legalization of marijuana. He has sponsored a bill with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that seeks to achieve this goal. However, in a recent panel discussion at Tisch College, Booker characterized marijuana as a “dangerous” drug that hasn’t been studied enough. This statement has raised eyebrows among marijuana advocates who have long argued that marijuana is a relatively safe drug that has medicinal properties.

Booker expressed frustration at the slow pace of marijuana legalization and its failure to achieve equity goals. He attributed this partly to the ongoing federal prohibition of the drug. According to him, the prohibition has prevented researchers from conducting comprehensive studies on the drug’s effects and benefits. He also stated that the prohibition has created a situation where racial and social justice have been sidelined in the legalization process.

Booker’s comments have surprised many in the marijuana advocacy community, given his longstanding support for legalization. However, some have pointed out that Booker’s statement may be an attempt to appeal to more conservative lawmakers who are still wary of marijuana. Booker’s recent collaboration with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to streamline the federal rescheduling of “breakthrough therapies” like psilocybin and MDMA may also be an indication that he is trying to position himself as a moderate on drug policy.

Booker’s characterization of marijuana as a “dangerous” drug has drawn criticism from some marijuana advocates. They argue that the drug is less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco, which are legal and widely used. They also point out that marijuana has been shown to have medicinal properties, particularly in the treatment of chronic pain, epilepsy, and anxiety.

Despite his characterization of marijuana as “dangerous,” Booker has not backed down from his support for legalization. He believes that the drug should be legalized and regulated in a way that prioritizes equity and social justice. He has been pushing for a bill that would do just that. However, he has also expressed a willingness to compromise with Republicans on the issue, saying that “compromise legislation” on marijuana legalization is something that “might happen” based on conversations with certain Republican colleagues.

One issue that Booker believes has bipartisan support is eliminating the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. He believes that lawmakers from both parties can come together to pass legislation that would address this longstanding injustice. He also believes that this would be a step towards achieving greater equity in drug policy.

Despite the debate, it is clear that Booker remains committed to achieving equity-centered federal legalization of marijuana. He has been a leading voice on the issue and has been pushing for legislation that would address the racial and social justice issues that have been sidelined in the legalization process. While his recent comments may have raised eyebrows, it is likely that he will continue to advocate for a comprehensive and equitable approach to drug policy reform.


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