On Friday, April 1st, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor (220-204) of the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, a comprehensive federal cannabis legalization bill that contains strong social equity provisions with an emphasis on restorative justice for communities most impacted by cannabis prohibition. This marks the second time the chamber has passed the MORE Act.
Sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), 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; protect immigrants from being denied citizenship over cannabis; and allow VA physicians to recommend medical cannabis to veterans. In 2020, the House passed the MORE Act, but it did not advance in the Senate.
“We applaud the MORE Act’s approach to legalization that promises to address many of the harms caused by prohibition through an equity- and justice-centered framework, MPP stated. “Americans have made their support for cannabis legalization abundantly clear, and states across the country have taken the lead on cannabis legalization. Now it is time for Congress to take action and finally put an end to the failed policy of prohibition. We urge members of Congress to once again pass this historic piece of legislation.”
On the Senate side, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a draft version of an alternative cannabis legalization bill, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity (CAO) Act.
According to the latest Gallup poll, 68% of Americans support cannabis legalization. To date, 18 states have legalized cannabis for adults 21 and over, and 37 states have legalized medical cannabis.