First-ever vote to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act is expected
Washington, DC: The House Judiciary Committee has posted a markup date for HR 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act. Members of the Committee will consider the bill on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019, and they will likely hold a vote at that time. The MORE Act was introduced by the Committee’s Chairman, Jerry Nadler of New York and it is expected to be positively received by Committee members.
“A supermajority of Americans, including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents, support regulating the use of [cannabis] by responsible adults,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Thanks to the leadership of the House Judiciary chairman, never in history have we been closer to ending the failed policy of [cannabis] criminalization and providing pathways to opportunity for our brothers and sisters who have suffered under its oppressive reign.”
Strekal added: “The MORE Act is the most comprehensive marijuana policy reform bill ever introduced in Congress and is backed by a broad coalition of civil rights, criminal justice, drug policy, and immigration groups. Those who oppose this legislation moving forward are defenders of a failed status-quo that ruins the lives of otherwise law-abiding adults on a daily basis, overwhelming enforced against the poor and communities of color.”
Earlier this month, a Pew poll found that 67% of Americans support the legalization of [cannabis].
Earlier this year, members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security heard expert testimony challenging the federal government’s policy of cannabis prohibition. The hearing, entitled “Marijuana Laws in America: Racial Justice and the Need for Reform,” debated the merits of various alternative policy options – including ending cannabis’s longstanding Schedule I criminal status under federal law. The hearing marked the first time in decades that members have entertained debate regarding the need to end the federal criminalization of cannabis and to deschedule it from the Controlled Substances Act, which would end federal prohibition and free states to determine their own policies.
Shortly thereafter, Chairman Nadler introduced the MORE Act to:
- Remove the [cannabis] plant from the federal Controlled Substances Act,
- Require the federal courts to expunge prior [cannabis]-related convictions,
- Provide grants to local communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the drug war
- Permit physicians affiliated with the Veterans Administration to authorize medical [cannabis] recommendations to qualifying veterans who reside in legal states
- Allow the Small Business Administration to support entrepreneurs and businesses as they seek to gain a foothold in this emerging industry.
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NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of [cannabis] by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high-quality [cannabis] that is safe, convenient, and affordable.
NORML Political Director