House Leadership today posted notice for Congressional consideration of the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, HR 3884, which ends the federal prohibition of cannabis. The MORE Act is scheduled for a floor vote next week.
“This floor vote represents the first Congressional roll call ever on the question of ending federal marijuana criminalization,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “By advancing the MORE Act, the House of Representatives sends an unmistakable signal that America is ready to close the book marijuana prohibition and end the senseless oppression and fear that this failed policy wreaks on otherwise law-abiding citizens.”
He concluded, “Americans are ready to responsibly legalize and regulate marijuana, and this vote shows some lawmakers are finally listening.”
More information about MORE, marijuana policy broadly, and public polling
The MORE Act ends the federal prohibition and criminalization of marijuana by descheduling it from the Controlled Substances Act, thus providing individual states with the authority to be the primary arbiters of cannabis policy.
FURTHER: The MORE Act would also make several other important changes to federal marijuana policy, including:
- Facilitating the expungement of low-level, federal marijuana convictions, and incentivizing state and local governments to take similar actions;
- Creating pathways for ownership opportunities in the emerging regulated industry for local and diversely-reflective entrepreneurs through the Small Business Administration grant eligibility;
- Allowing veterans, for the first time, to obtain medical cannabis recommendations from their VA doctors;
- Removing the threat of deportation for immigrants accused of minor marijuana infractions or who are gainfully employed in the state-legal cannabis industry;
- Providing critical reinvestment grant opportunities for communities that have suffered disproportionate rates of marijuana-related enforcement actions.
- According to a recent report by the ACLU, Black Americans are 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis-related crimes than white Americans.
- According to the FBI UCR, over 545,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related crimes in 2019 alone, over 90% of those arrested were charged with mere possession.
- The state-legal cannabis industry employs over 243,000 full-time workers; that is over four times the number of jobs specific to the coal industry.
- While the substance is not without harm, cannabis is objectively less harmful than legal and regulated alcohol and tobacco.
Data for Progress, March 2020 – Would you [support or oppose] fully legalizing marijuana at the national level? (Democrats only)
- 80% Support (60% strongly, 20% somewhat)
- Moderates: 69% support
- Liberal/Very Liberal: 87% support
- 14% Oppose (8% strongly, 6% oppose)
- Moderates: 19% oppose
- Liberal/Very Liberal: 9% oppose
Pew Research Center, Nov. 2019 – Question: The use of marijuana should be made legal?
- Overall: 67% Yes – 32% No
- Democrats / Lean Democrats: 78% Yes – 20% No
- Republicans / Lean Republicans: 55% Yes – 44% No
Gallup Polling, Oct. 2020 – Question: Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?
- Overall: 68% Yes – 32% No
- Democrat: 83% Yes – 16% No
- Republicans: 48% Yes – 52% No
- Independents: 72% Yes – 27% No