things that matter

This Bill Would Make Marijuana Legal On A Federal Level And Senator Cory Booker Just Introduced It

Dr. Brainfish / Flickr / @corybooker / Instagram

Today, Senator Cory Booker introduced the Marijuana Justice Act to officially remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances. If passed, the bill would make marijuana legal at the federal level and, according to Booker, incentivize states to change marijuana laws that have disproportionately and negatively impacted communities of color.

Last year, after recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, a study showed that black and Latino youths under the age of 21 – the legal age to consume marijuana – were targeted for arrest at much higher rates than their white counterparts, reported NPR.

Another major part of the Marijuana Justice Act is that the bill would be applied retroactively and would impact those already in jails and prisons for marijuana charges.

“Our country’s drug laws are badly broken and need to be fixed,” Sen. Booker said in a statement to the press. “They don’t make our communities any safer – instead they divert critical resources from fighting violent crimes, tear families apart, unfairly impact low-income communities and communities of color, and waste billions in taxpayer dollars each year. Descheduling marijuana and applying that change retroactively to people currently serving time for marijuana offenses is a necessary step in correcting this unjust system. States have so far led the way in reforming our criminal justice system and it’s about time the federal government catches up and begins to assert leadership.”

READ: This Billboard Was Pulled For Its Tone Deaf “Hispanics” Slogan

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Two Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Were Arrested In The Middle Of The Night And No One Knows Where They Are

Things That Matter

Two Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Were Arrested In The Middle Of The Night And No One Knows Where They Are

@liliantintori / @alcaldeledezma / Twitter

With guns drawn and masks over their faces, authorities in Caracas, Venezuela, raided the homes of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma and opposition leader Leopoldo López and kidnapped them in the middle of the night. The kidnapping comes just days after Venezuela held a controversial election to appoint a new arm to the government to rewrite the Venezuelan constitution. While President Nicolás Maduro is calling the vote a victory with more than 8 million votes cast, opponents are criticizing the election for being rigged in Maduro’s favor, speculating that only 2.5 million Venezuelans actually voted. One thing is sure, the vote did little to quell violence and protests that have gripped the South American country and claimed 120 lives since April.

Leopoldo López’s wife, Lilian Tintori , took to Twitter to let the world know about the kidnapping.

“#URGENT They just finished taking Leopoldo from the house,” Tintori tweeted. “We don’t know where he is or where they are taking him. Maduro is responsible if something happens to him.”

She also shared surveillance video capturing the kidnapping.

In the surveillance video above, you can see López being taken from his home in Caracas. López, who can be seen in the bottom right corner of the video wearing a white t-shirt, is loaded into the car by a group of armed individuals. López had been released from prison on July 8 after three years as a political prisoner, but was placed on house arrest.

“12:27 a.m.: The moment in which the dictator kidnapped Leopoldo from my house,” reads Tintori’s tweet. “You won’t vanquish him!”

Mitzy Ledezma Capriles, the wife of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, posted a video of the moment he was taken from his house in his pajamas.

As he is being taken out of his home you can hear people shouting, “They’re taking Ledezma! They’re taking Ledezma!” Everyone in the video, except for the police force, are dressed in their pajamas. Tweeting from her husband’s page, Ledezma Capriles wrote:

“Mitzy. Through the strength of hitting and pushing they took Antonio from out home. The regime is responsible for his life and integrity.”

Ledezma Capriles recorded her daughter, Oriette, giving the world an official announcement of the kidnapping.

“We want to formally report that Antonio Ledezma, mayor of Caracas, was kidnapped again in the early morning today,” Oriette says to the camera. “He was in pajamas. We don’t know his whereabouts. A group of men with their faces covered and dressed in camouflage came and took him. He’s been kidnapped again. The regime is responsible for his life and physical integrity. This report is for Venezuela and the whole world because they continue to violate the human rights of Antonio Ledezma and Venezuelans.”

READ: After Three Years As A Political Prisoner, The Leader Of The Opposition In Venezuela Is Under House Arrest

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