Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan announced his support for legalizing marijuana nationwide.
The Ohio Democrat wrote in an op-ed for CNN that as co-chairman of the House Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, he was reluctant to support legalization.
“But after meeting with countless Ohio families and youth whose lives have been irreparably harmed by a marijuana arrest, I find the social and economic injustices of our marijuana policy too big to ignore,” he said.
Ryan also announced his support for the Marijuana Justice Act, which is sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Booker’s legislation would not only remove marijuana from being a Schedule I drug and would allow people currently serving to have their marijuana sentences nullified after a judge reviews them.
“We need to invest in a country that works for all Americans. We need every citizen working to keep America moving forward,” he said. “Instead, we are keeping one in five Americans off the economic playing field — the majority of them people of color.”
Ohio’s 13th District, which Ryan represents, has an 11 percent African-American population.
Ryan is also an advocate for Democrats to appeal to working class white voters who used to vote for them but broke for President Donald Trump.
The support for legalizing marijuana comes a day after Ryan announced he joined the nascent Medicare for All Caucus.
Like Booker, Ryan is considered a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination for President.