Sen. Cory Booker wants to take marijuana off the federal controlled substance list



New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker says pot should come off the controlled substance list — and he's introducing a bill to do just that.

The Garden State Democrat's Marijuana Justice Act, which he'll formally announce on Tuesday via Facebook Live, would legalize marijuana at the federal level.

The MJA would award federal funds to states that change their pot laws if current regulations are shown to have an outsized impact on people of color, such as higher arrest rates.

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Marijuana legalization laws by state
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Marijuana legalization laws by state

Alabama: Medical use only, otherwise possession is a felony

(Photo: Dennis Macdonald via Getty Images)

Alaska: Marijuana legalized for medical and recreational use 

(Photo: Zoonar/N.Okhitin via Getty Images)

Arizona: Marijuana legalized for medical use

(Photo: Mikel Ortega via Getty Images)

Arkansas: Medical use only

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California: Legal for medical and recreational use

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Colorado: Legal for medical and recreational use  

(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Connecticut: Decriminalized and legalized for medical use 

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Delaware: Decriminalized

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Florida: Medical use only

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Georgia: Medical use only

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Hawaii: Medical use only

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Idaho: Not legal

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Illinois: Decriminalized

(Photo: VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm)

Indiana: Not legal

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Iowa: Medical use only

(Photo: Getty Images)

Kansas: Not legal

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Kentucky: Not legal

(Photo: Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images)

Louisiana: Medical use only

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Maine: Legal for medical and recreational use

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Maryland: Decriminalized

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Massachusetts: Legal

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Michigan: Medical use only

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Minnesota: Decriminalized

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Mississippi: Decriminalized on first offense

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Missouri: Not legal

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Montana: Medical use only

(Photo: Dennis Macdonald via Getty Images)

Nebraska: Decriminalized on first offense only

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Nevada: Legal

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New Hampshire: Medical use only

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New Jersey: Medical use only

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New Mexico: Medical use only

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New York: Decriminalized unless in public view

(REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

North Carolina: Decriminalized

(Photo: Getty Images)

North Dakota: Medical use only

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Ohio: Decriminalized

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Oklahoma: Medical use only

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Oregon: Legal for medical and recreational use

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Pennsylvania: Medical use only

(Photo: Henryk Sadura via Getty Images)

Rhode Island: Decriminalized

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South Carolina: Not legal

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South Dakota: Not legal

(Photo: Dave and Les Jacobs via Getty Images)

Tennessee: Medical use only

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Texas: Medical use only, decriminalized in Houston and Dallas

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Utah: Not legal 

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Vermont: Decriminalized

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Virginia: Not legal

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Washington: Legal for medical and recreational use

(Photo: Shutterstock)

West Virginia: Medical use only

(Photo: Getty Images)

Wisconsin: Medical use only

(Photo: Getty Images)

Wyoming: Not legal 

(Photo: Space Images via Getty Images)

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The senator also wants to expunge federal marijuana possession and use crimes and let people serving federal prison time petition for resentencing.

"Our country's drug laws are badly broken and need to be fixed," Booker said in a statement.

"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."

Booker went on to say that "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."

The MJA would create a "community reinvestment fund" to help the places hit hardest by the War on Drugs, providing money for job training, post-prison re-entry services, public libraries and youth programs.

Booker isn't the first lawmaker to advance pot legalization legislation in the Senate. Among those who have done so before are Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Already, "205 million Americans live in a state where marijuana use is legal in some way," according to USA Today, although pot remains illegal at the federal level.

Changing that could run into static under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who earlier this year described weed as only "slightly less awful" than heroin and said "our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life."

RELATED: 'Weed nuns' sell marijuana online

12 PHOTOS
Sisters of the Valley 'weed nuns' sell marijuana online
See Gallery
Sisters of the Valley 'weed nuns' sell marijuana online
California "weed nun" India Delgado, who goes by the name Sister Eevee, trims hemp in the kitchen at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
California "weed nun" Christine Meeusen, 57, who goes by the name Sister Kate (R), and Desiree Calderon, who goes by the name Sister Freya, pour CBD salve made from hemp at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
California "weed nun" Christine Meeusen, 57, who goes by the name Sister Kate, opens a bag of hemp in the kitchen at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Hemp is seen in bags at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
California "weed nun" Christine Meeusen, 57, who goes by the name Sister Kate (L), and India Delgado, who goes by the name Sister Eevee, trim hemp in the kitchen at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
California "weed nun" Desiree Calderon, who goes by the name Sister Freya, pours CBD salve made from hemp at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Hemp lies on the kitchen table at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
California "weed nun" Desiree Calderon, who goes by the name Sister Freya, trims hemp in the kitchen at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
California "weed nun" Christine Meeusen, 57, walks to the hemp drying room at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Hemp is seen in the refrigerator at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
California "weed nun" Christine Meeusen, 57, who goes by the name Sister Kate, holds hemp in the kitchen at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, U.S., April 18, 2017. Picture taken April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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