WASHINGTON, DC – The Marihuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) ActHR 3884 made history today when House members 228-164 voted to lift the cannabis ban. The vote marks the first time since marijuana was made illegal nationwide that a Chamber of Congress has considered ending the federal government Cannabis ban.
“The symbolic and historical importance of the MORE Act passed in House cannot be overstated,” he said Aaron Smith, Co-founder and managing director of National Association of the Cannabis Industry (NCIA). “This vote is a rebuke for failed and harmful prohibition policies and represents a growing understanding of their racially and economically different effects. Americans are increasingly ready to see adult cannabis legally and sensibly regulated, as they demonstrated today and at the ballot box last month by their representatives. “
If as currently written, the MORE act would remove marijuana from the list of planned substances under the Controlled Substances Act;; Eliminate criminal penalties for manufacturing, distribution and possession; wipe out low marijuana beliefs; prevent federal agencies from denying public services or security clearing for cannabis use; Allow veterans of the Veterans Administration to recommend medicinal cannabis; and, among other things, levy a federal consumption tax of 5 percent.
“This is a historic day for marijuana politics in the United States,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “This vote marks the first time in 50 years that a Chamber of Congress has re-examined the classification of cannabis as a nationwide banned substance and tried to close the rapidly growing gap between state and federal marijuana policies.
“By establishing this new avenue for federal policy, we expect more states to reconsider and change the archaic criminalization of cannabis, establish regulated consumer marketplaces, and use direct law enforcement agencies to promote the practice of arresting more than half a million Americans each year for marijuana- Contextual violations – arrests that fall disproportionately on people of color and people on the lower end of the economic spectrum, ”added Strekal.
Beyond legalization, the MORE Act would also become one Cannabis Justice Bureau Monitor funds and grants in support of those hardest hit by the war on drugs, including one Opportunity Trust Fund and a Community Reinvestment Grant ProgramPrograms badly needed in the cannabis industry’s social equality and redress efforts for decades of racially motivated harm. Though some say the act does not go far enough.
“Even though Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) supports and welcomes social justice provisions, including deletion of records and the establishment of an Opportunity Trust Fund and the Cannabis Justice Office. We have serious concerns about the provisions in this bill that we believe would have an immediate deterrent effect on individual members, our owners of community and minority businesses broadly, ”MCBA said in a statement. “Representative [Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)] were staunch advocates not only of cannabis policy reform, but also of those hardest hit by the cannabis ban and wider war on drugs. However, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act secured victory through potential costs to affected individuals and communities.
“Economic justice for those who have been deprived of their basic rights and opportunities due to the unfair enactment and enforcement of cannabis laws must be central to federal cannabis policy. Whether through messaging bills like the MORE Act or the ultimate federal cannabis framework, the voice of the most injured must be present, heard and honored. The lack of their vote will continue to produce results like the amended MORE Act passed today – an incomplete account of justice and justice, ”the statement said.