Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet is on a high-profile list of Democrats who hope to legalize marijuana on the federal level.
Bennet is one of a half-dozen high-profile co-sponsors on the bill led by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. The Marijuana Justice Act, as it's called, was announced Thursday afternoon.
Bennet, like Booker and some of the other co-sponsors, are considering a run for president next year.
The list of co-sponsors and potential candidates includes Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Last year, Warren sponsored a similar legalization bill with Colorado's Cory Gardner.
“This long-overdue change will help bring our marijuana laws into the 21st century,” Bennet said in a statement. “It’s past time we bring fairness and relief to communities that our criminal justice system has too often left behind.”
Bennet's office said current drug policy "disproportionately affected low-income communities and communities of color."
The new bill calls for removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances and expunging convictions for those who have served federal incarceration for marijuana use and possession.
It also would invest federal dollars saved by the new law into low-income and minority communities for such programs as job training, re-entry services for former inmates and community centers.
The bill also encourages local communities to charge marijuana laws for the same reason, Bennet's office said, calling the proposed new legalization law ""the most far-reaching marijuana legislation ever to be introduced in Congress."