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Gillibrand Would Federally Legalize Cannabis, Make It Top Priority

Gillibrand Would Federally Legalize Cannabis, Make It Top Priority

Ending the federal prohibition on marijuana would be a top priority for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand if she’s elected president, the New York Democrat said in a rollout of her cannabis platform Wednesday.

What To Know

The enforcement of marijuana laws has disproportionately targeted minority communities, as well as deprived sick people of access to possible relief, Gillibrand said. 

“The unfair enforcement of our current marijuana laws is a continuation of the institutional racism that has defined our criminal justice system for decades,” Gillibrand wrote in a blog post from her presidential campaign.

“This vestige of the War on Drugs has irreparably harmed too many lives and communities  —  predominantly black and brown ones.”

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Why It's Important

If elected, Gillibrand said she would move to immediately deschedule marijuana as a controlled substance. The candidate said she'd call for coverage of medical marijuana in health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.

What's Next

Gillibrand’s plans also call for expunging non-violent marijuana convictions, investing in medical marijuana research and taxing recreational marijuana sales.

Legitimizing the plant would also boost the industry, allowing it access to banking services, Gillibrand said.

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