U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York and California Sen. Kamala Harris, both Democrats, have introduced legislation to decriminalize marijuana and expunge most convictions.

The new legislation, reports Roll Call, is “designed to address both sides of the equation. The legislation is likely to serve as a key marker heading into next year’s elections.”

The bill would also use the assessment of a 5% sales tax on pot and pot products to create a trust fund to help job training, business assistance and substance abuse programs.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act is described by Nadler’s office as “one of the most comprehensive marijuana reform bills ever introduced in the U.S. Congress.”

U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler. Flickr: David

“Despite the legalization of marijuana in states across the country, those with criminal convictions for marijuana still face second class citizenship,” Nadler said in a press release Wednesday. “Their vote, access to education, employment, and housing are all negatively impacted.”

Nadler added: “Racially motivated enforcement of marijuana laws has disproportionally impacted communities of color. It’s past time to right this wrong nationwide and work to view marijuana use as an issue of personal choice and public health, not criminal behavior.”

Harris said in her own press release, “Times have changed — marijuana should not be a crime.”

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is among the bill’s many co-sponsors.

“For many years I have worked to end the marijuana prohibition and am proud to push this legislation forward that will begin to right the wrongs of the past, and invest in communities who have been most harmed,” Gabbard said in her own press release Thursday.

Harris and Gabbard are running for the 2020 presidential nomination of their party.

Come Jan. 11, possession of 3 grams or less of marijuana will be permitted in Hawaii.

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