By Associated Press
(AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand has a plan to legalize marijuana and expunge all nonviolent criminal charges associated with it.
The New York senator said in a Medium post this week that she’d work with Congress to decriminalize recreational marijuana use and tax nonprescription marijuana products. She wants to ensure access to medical marijuana is covered by private health insurance plans and by federal programs including Medicare, Medicaid and Department of Veterans Affairs health programs.
Gillibrand said she wants to use the proceeds to support job training and other programs for communities “disproportionately harmed by marijuana laws,” especially helping small businesses owned by women and minorities. She’s also expand medical marijuana research, saying it “can help combat our opioid addiction epidemic” and treat veterans’ mental and physical health problems.
The Medium post states that the plan includes to:
- Establish a national process to make marijuana production and consumption clean, safe, and sustainable
- Expunge all non-violent marijuana convictions
- Invest in research for medicinal applications, and require coverage for medical marijuana in all health insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA
- Legalize and tax recreational marijuana nationwide, and direct revenue towards programs that help repair the damage done by the War on Drugs
- Normalize cannabis businesses’ tax treatment and allow access to the banking system
- Create equity for small business investment in the cannabis industry, lifting up communities that have been most hurt by marijuana laws
Gillibrand launched her 2020 presidential campaign in March.
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall