Congresswoman Ilhan Omar wants the United States to legalize marijuana at a federal level. Cannabis has been legalized in more than half the country mainly for medical use but it is still outlawed by the federal government.
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Omar not only wants legalization of weed but also to clear criminal records of those imprisoned on charges related to marijuana.
"Cannabis criminalization disproportionately impacts communities of color. We must finally legalize cannabis nationwide and expunge records for those incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses,” Omar wrote on Twitter Saturday.
Research by the American Civil Liberties Union revealed that between 2001 and 2010, Black people were more vulnerable to arrests and marijuana-related charges than white people despite being used by a similar number of people in both groups.
Cannabis is still considered a Schedule I drug at the federal level in the U.S. which allows the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to arrest people and close down businesses for violating federal law.
The U.S. Congress has managed to obstruct the DEA from intervening in states which have legalized medical marijuana.
The issue of pot legalization is expected to be a key topic during the 2020 presidential campaign. Most of the Democratic nominees either openly support legalization at a federal level or believe that the government should not interfere in states where it has been legalized.
The medical use of cannabis is legal in 33 states and the recreational use is legal in 10 states.
While During his 2016 campaign, U.S. President Donald Trump supported the legalization of medical marijuana, he ended up hiring Jeff Sessions as a former Attorney General who, in 2017, tried to persuade Congress to let DEA interfere in the states where weed is legal.