U.S. House Passes MORE Act, Again

U.S. House Passes MORE Act, Again

<![CDATA[U.S. House lawmakers passed federal legislation to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act on April 1, marking the second time broad reform has received majority support in the chamber. In addition to ending the federal prohibition of cannabis, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act would provide expungements for those with cannabis offenses and impose a federal tax on cannabis to fund programs for those adversely affected by the drug war. House members voted, 220-204, almost entirely along party lines, to pass the bill. Sponsored by U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the legislation, House Bill 3617, was first introduced in July 2019 and was passed by the full lower chamber via a 228-164 vote in December 2020. In his opening remarks Friday on the House floor, Nadler said legislation to reverse decades of failed federal policies based on the criminalization of cannabis is long overdue. He also pointed out that 37 states have legalized medical cannabis, while 18 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized adult-use cannabis. “It is long past time for the federal government to recognize that legalization has been a resounding success, that the conflict with federal law has become untenable,” he said. “Criminal penalties for marijuana offenses and the resulting collateral consequences are unjust and harmful to our society. The MORE Act comprehensively addresses these injustices.”More specifically, Nadler said the MORE Act has three main focuses: remove cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances;authorize the provision of resources funded by the federal tax of cannabis sales (starting at 5% and increasing to 8% by the fifth year of implementation) to address the needs of communities that have been “seriously” impacted by federal prohibition policies, including increasing the participation of communities of color in the burgeoning cannabis market; andprovide the expungement of federal cannabis…

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