Today, Dec 2nd, the U.S. House Rules Committee voted to advance the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act. The bill is expected to receive a full vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, marking the first-ever floor vote in Congress to end federal prohibition.
If enacted into law, the MORE Act would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act; require federal courts to expunge prior cannabis-related convictions and provide for resentencing; provide grants and funding to communities most harmed by the war on cannabis; lift barriers to licensing and employment in the cannabis industry; block federal agencies from denying public benefits or security clearances due to cannabis use; protect immigrants from being denied citizenship over cannabis; and allow VA physicians to recommend medical cannabis to veterans.
“Following today’s favorable vote, members of the U.S. House of Representatives on both sides of the aisle now have the opportunity and responsibility to come together and pass this important piece of legislation, said the MPP. “The prohibition and criminalization of marijuana has led to decades of injustice and devastating consequences, and it’s clear that a strong majority of Americans do not support the status quo. It is past time for Congress to take real action.”
Key provisions in the MORE Act:
- Would end the criminalization of cannabis at the federal level, and it would be retroactive. Arrests, charges, and convictions would be automatically expunged at no cost to the individual.
- Would impose a 5% excise tax on the retail sale of cannabis that would go to the Opportunity Trust Fund.
- Would create the Office of Cannabis Justice to oversee the social equity provisions in the law.
- Would ensure the federal government could not discriminate against people because of cannabis use.
- Would open the door to cannabis-related research and banking.