WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, today voted to advance the Eliminating the Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act to from the Committee to a House floor vote. The bipartisan sentencing reform measure would finally end the disparity between crack and powder cocaine offences.
“This war on drugs is as much, and I would submit, a greater failure than Afghanistan…If we can get out of Afghanistan, which we’ve done…, we can get out of the war on drugs, too. But it will take a bipartisan effort…It doesn’t mean legalizing everything but it means seeing these things as social problems, as mental health and physical health issues. Sending someone who is hooked on heroin or cocaine…to jail is a waste of time and an error. To get them help and treatment is the right thing to do. This bill is long overdue…This is a cultural lag oasis. This bill ends one of those cultural lags. But another is having marijuana scheduled as Schedule 1. We’ve been talking about that the entire 15 years I’ve been here, and before…”
Congressman Cohen also addressed the unfair treatment of sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who will not be part of the U.S. Olympic track and field roster in Toyko after testing positive for marijuana.