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House Leadership Announces Vote On MORE Act To End Marijuana Prohibition Will Take Place Next Week

Washington, DC: 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.

Key Facts:

  • 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.

Polling:

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

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NORML advocates for changes in public policy so that the responsible possession and use of marijuana by adults is no longer subject to criminal penalties. NORML further advocates for a regulated commercial cannabis market so that activities involving the for-profit production and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products are safe, transparent, consumer-friendly, and are subject to state and/or local licensure. Finally, NORML advocates for additional changes in legal and regulatory policies so that those who use marijuana responsibly are no longer face either social stigma or workplace discrimination, and so that those with past criminal records for marijuana-related violations have the opportunity to have their records automatically expunged.

Find out more at norml.org and read our Fact Sheets on the most common misconceptions and myths regarding reform efforts around the country

 

 

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