House Judiciary Passes MORE Act to Decriminalize Marijuana at Federal Level
Washington, D.C. –Today, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, by a vote of 24-10. The MORE Act is one of the most comprehensive marijuana reforms bills ever introduced in the U.S. Congress. The MORE Act aims to correct the historical injustices of failed drug policies that have disproportionately impacted communities of color and low-income communities by decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level, reassessing marijuana convictions, and investing in local communities. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris introduced the companion bill in the Senate.
Yesterday, Chairman Nadler and other Members of Congress held a press conference to highlight the legislation. Watch here.
"I have long believed that the criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake, and the racially disparate enforcement of marijuana laws has only compounded this mistake," said Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). "While states have led the way in reform, our federal laws have not kept pace with the obvious need for change. With the passage of the MORE Act today, the Judiciary Committee has taken long overdue steps to address the devastating injustices caused by the War on Drugs and to finally decriminalize marijuana at the federal level."
"This is an incredible step forward in righting the wrongs of the failed and racist War on Drugs. The federal government has lagged behind as states continue to modernize how we regulate and decriminalize cannabis. As Co-Chair of the bipartisan Cannabis Caucus, I’ll keep pushing to ensure Congress makes our cannabis policies are fair, equitable, and inclusive," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA). "I applaud Chairman Nadler for his leadership, and look forward to seeing the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment & Expungement (MORE) Act get a vote on the House floor."
"This will be one of the most historic events in our movement," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). "The MORE Act is the most comprehensive cannabis legislation to date. I am proud to have worked with Chairman Nadler to develop this bill and applaud his leadership to bring it in front of the committee. This is a major step forward. We are making outstanding progress in our blueprint to end the federal prohibition of cannabis and address the injustice brought on by the war on drugs."
"The House Judiciary Committee’s consideration of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act is a significant step towards ending the failed war on drugs and correcting some of the harms that it has caused," said Charlotte Resing, Policy Analyst, ACLU. "The bill not only deschedules marijuana at the federal level, but it also provides a roadmap for states to legalize in a just and equitable manner. The MORE Act also provides resentencing and expungement for those with marijuana convictions and mandates the inclusion of those most impacted by the criminalization of marijuana in the newly legal marijuana industry. The ACLU is pleased to support the MORE Act and its efforts to counter the over-criminalization, over policing, and mass incarceration stemming from the war on drugs."
"The passage of the MORE Act represents the first time that the Judiciary Committee has ever had a successful vote to end the cruel policy of marijuana criminalization," said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. "Not only does the bill reverse the failed prohibition of cannabis, but it provides pathways for opportunity and ownership in the emerging industry for those who have suffered most. In 2018 alone, over 663,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana related crimes, a three-year high. Now that Chairman Nadler has moved the MORE Act through committee, it is time for the full House to vote and have every member of Congress show their constituents which side of history they stand on."
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act: