Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is cosponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act. The announcement came this afternoon on the senator’s Twitter account and was further explained on a Facebook Live video with her longtime friend, colleague and now-cosponsor, Senator Cory Booker.
Who Is Kirsten Gillibrand?
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is a native New Yorker and lifelong member of the Democratic Party. She was educated at Dartmouth College and UCLA School of Law and passed the bar exam in 1991. That year, her legal career began at the Davis Polk & Wardwell law firm in Manhattan. While there, she served as a defense attorney for the tobacco company Philip Morris.
Although some have criticized her early years working for “Big Tobacco”, Gillibrand has no regrets.
“The work on that case allowed me to do pro bono cases,” she told New York Magazine in a 2009 feature.
Those pro bono cases consisted of assisting battered women safely leave abusive relationships, as well as help a housing alliance get restitution from landlords who allowed the use of lead-based paint in their properties.
Gillibrand was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, thus officially beginning her career in politics. She served from 2007 to 2009. In 2009, she was elected as a United States Senator from New York. She is still in this role, working alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Throughout her political career, Senator Gillibrand has been known for her liberal leanings on social issues, such as LGBT rights and abortion rights. She has a vested interest in feminist issues and even launched the website Off The Sidelines to empower more women to become active in politics.
The Marijuana Justice Act
Given Senator Gillibrand’s history, it should come as no surprise that she supports medical marijuana. In June 2017, she introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect (CARERS) Act with Al Franken, Rand Paul and Cory Booker.
When Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo last month, she publicly renounced his regressive action. In a statement on her Twitter account, she categorized the rescission as “either willfully ignorant or cowing to corporate greed on behalf of pharma special interest profits.”
Today, Senator Gillibrand took to Twitter to make the announcement that she would, once again, be teaming up with Senator Booker:
I’m proud to announce that I will be cosponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act introduced by my friend @CoryBooker We're going live from my Facebook page for a few minutes to talk about the bill. Join us! https://t.co/cdsMmZTADb
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 14, 2018
That’s right. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is on Team Marijuana Justice Act.
Final Hit: Kirsten Gillibrand Is Cosponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act
The fact that Kirsten Gillibrand is cosponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act with Cory Booker is huge. In a Facebook Live video, Senator Gillibrand emphasized that the War on Drugs destroys lives, rips apart families and causes irreparable damage to both individuals and communities.
Especially within minority communities, given the racial disparity in marijuana arrests.
The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to rectify these injustices. Now that these two political powerhouses are behind it, optimism is certainly warranted.