Kirsten Gillibrand has been making waves in the political discussions happening in America, both as the U.S. Senator from New York and now as a Democratic Candidate for president. If you weren't already taking a look at what she is working toward, you should be now as this week she revealed her plan to fully legalize cannabis nationwide, stating, "It's 2019. Let's legalize it."
Aside from fully legalizing recreational/adult-use and medical cannabis, Gillibrand's plan would expunge all nonviolent marijuana convictions and work on the medical and economic opportunity of this plant.
Gillibrand has voiced support for legal cannabis in the past by co-sponsoring a bill with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to legalize nationwide in an effort to help minority communities disproportionately affected by its criminalization. But, her new plan goes further.
As explained by the Huffington Post, Gillibrand's plan would tax recreational/adult-use marijuana with proceeds going to “repair the damage done by the War on Drugs,” she said. Health insurance providers, including Medicaid, Medicare and the VA, would be required to cover medical marijuana, and tax revenue would be directed toward research. Extra support, in the form of “access to capital and technical assistance,” would be given to demographic groups hit hardest by marijuana criminalization.
Her plan would deschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and create social equity at the federal level. As explained by High Times, her plan to legalize cannabis also includes a federal excise tax on the sale of non-prescription cannabis products. Revenue from the tax would be used to fund services such as education and job training in communities disproportionately affected by past marijuana laws. Businesses in underserved communities would be granted access to capital and technical assistance. Small businesses owned by women and minorities would be prioritized for services from “marijuana-specific” programs.
You can learn more about Senator Gillibrand and the other issues in her platform here.