Cory Booker (born April 27, 1969) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from New Jersey. At the time of his election to the Senate, he was the Mayor of Newark. Booker was born in Washington, D.C. and then raised in Harrington Park, New Jersey. He attended Stanford University, where he played college football and received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Arts in sociology, before earning a Rhodes Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford. Upon returning home, he received his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.
Booker began his political career as a Newark City Councilor from 1998 to 2002. He ran for Mayor in 2002, but lost to incumbent Sharpe James; he ran again in 2006 and won against deputy mayor Ronald Rice. During his tenure as Mayor, his priorities were reducing crime and encouraging economic development projects. He gained a national reputation for his personal involvement in public service, particularly through his use of social media tools such as Twitter to connect with constituents.
Considered one of the most prominent Democrats in New Jersey, he became a candidate for the United States Senate in the 2013 special election to succeed Frank Lautenberg, who died in office. He won the Senate Democratic primary on August 13, 2013 and then won the general election against Steve Lonegan on October 16, 2013, becoming the first black U.S. Senator from New Jersey. The next regular election for this Senate seat is in 2014.
- During his Senate campaign, Booker called for a "a structured national conversation about decriminalizing marijuana". On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Booker said, "Black people are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people, despite the fact that their usage rates are no different."
- On the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, Booker has said, "If it's a failure, it's a failure. But if it's a success and it doesn't hurt public safety and improves the economy by providing greater opportunities, and doesn't cause more crime, then I will be open to legalization. But right now I fall on not doing it, but I am one of those people who is hungry to watch it play out. Medical marijuana programs, like the one in New Jersey, are something I think should be in every state; the drugs people have in their medicine cabinets are more dangerous than marijuana. It's ridiculous to not let very sick people have access to a drug, a legitimate drug, that can help improve their lives.'"
- In 2015, Booker co-introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act.
- Cory Booker at Wikipedia
- Cory Booker On Medical Marijuana: 'I Want To Go Beyond That' (VIDEO) by John Stephens (December 17, 2012), The Huffington Post
- Cory Booker calls for prison reform, decriminalizing marijuana on anniversary of March on Washington by David Giambusso (August 28, 2013), The Star-Ledger
- Rand Paul, Cory Booker Join Forces to Protect Medical Marijuana From Feds by Steven Nelson (June 19, 2014), U.S. News & World Report
- The Rand Paul-Cory Booker Amendment Runs Into Problems by Ryan Smith (June 24, 2014), Marijuana Policy Project
- Sen. Cory Booker: Pills Are 'More Dangerous Than Marijuana' by Steve Bloom (July 14, 2014), CelebStoner.com. Retrieved September 4, 2014.