Next week: House Judiciary Committee to advance landmark law MORE

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Members of the House Judiciary Committee have scheduled a hearing next week to mark HR 3617: the 2021 Marijuana, Opportunity, Reinvestment and Clearing Law (MORE). The law repeals the long-standing federal ban on marijuana, thus ending the conflict between state and government governments with greater authority to regulate marijuana-related activities, including retail sales.

“We are delighted to see President Nadler and the House leadership move forward with the passage of the MORE law. Public support and sound public policy demand the repeal of the federal marijuana ban, Congressional action on this legislation is long overdue. The days of our failed federal ban policy are numbered, ”NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said.

As House members deliberate on the MORE Act, Upper House members continue to consider public comments regarding the Cannabis Administration Act and Opportunities, presented by Senators Cory Booker, Ron Wyden and the Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

What the MORE law does: The provisions of the legislation remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act, thereby eliminating the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws and giving states the power to be the primary arbiter of cannabis policy in the field. their own jurisdictions.

FURTHER AWAY: The MORE Act would also make several other important changes to federal marijuana policy, including:

  • Facilitate the erasure of low-level federal marijuana convictions and urge state and local governments to take similar action;
  • Create pathways to home ownership in the emerging regulated industry as well as other sectors of the economy for local and diverse entrepreneurs who have been impacted by the ban through eligibility for Small Business grants Administration;
  • Allow veterans, for the first time, to obtain medical cannabis recommendations from their VA doctors;
  • Remove the threat of deportation for immigrants accused of minor marijuana offenses or who are in paid employment in the state-legal cannabis industry;
  • Provide essential reinvestment grant opportunities to communities that have suffered disproportionate rates of marijuana-related law enforcement actions.

Following the action of the judicial committee of the House, the MORE law would require a more in-depth examination or a derogation by the various jurisdictional commissions before receiving a speaking vote.

Key Facts Highlighting Marijuana Policy Reform Efforts:

  • According to the FBI’s UCR, more than 545,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related crimes in 2019 alone. More than 90% of those arrested have been charged with simple possession.
  • According to a recent ACLU report, black Americans are 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis-related crimes than white Americans.
  • The state-legal cannabis industry employs over 321,000 full-time workers; this is more than six times the number of jobs specific to the coal industry.
  • While the substance is not safe, cannabis is objectively less harmful than legal and regulated alcohol and tobacco.

National survey

Quinnipiac University, April 2021

Question: Do you think the use of marijuana should be legalized in the United States, or not?

  • Overall: 69% Yes 25% No
  • Democrat: 78% Yes – 17% No
  • Republicans: 62% Yes – 32% No
  • Self-employed: 67% Yes – 28% No

Gallup poll, Nov 2020

Question: Do you think that the use of marijuana should be legalized or not?

  • Overall: 68% Yes – 32% No
  • Democrat: 83% Yes – 16% No
  • Republicans: 48% Yes – 52% No
  • Self-employed: 72% Yes – 27% No

Pew Research Center, April 2021

Question: What is closest to your perspective on adult marijuana use?

  • 60% Should be legal for medical AND recreational use
  • 31% This should be legal for medical use ONLY
  • 8% This should NOT be legal

Breakdown:

  • 12% of Republicans say marijuana should NOT be legal
  • 5% of Democrats say marijuana should NOT be legal

History of the MORE law:

On December 4, 2020, members of the House of Representatives voted to approve the MORE law, RH 3884, by a margin of 228 to 164. However, under the leadership of then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (K-KY), the entire Senate did not consider the legislation until the end of the 116th Session. of Congress.

HR 3884 was brought to the 116th Congress by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and to the Senate by Vice President Kamala Harris.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler as well as Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Earl Blumenauer and Barbara Lee, Forensic Crimes Subcommittee Chair Sheila Jackson Lee, Democratic House Committee Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and small business committee chair Nydia Velázquez reintroduced the 2021 version of the bill in May.

Kamala Harris is now Vice President of the United States and is unable to reintroduce accompanying legislation. In July, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, along with Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Judicial Committee Senator Cory Booker presented a draft discussion for public comment on the legislation. forthcoming, The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which aims to similarly remove cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act. .


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