This week, MPP sent a letter on behalf of the organization and its supporters to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives, calling on them to sign on as cosponsors of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019 (H.R. 3884). The measure would federally decriminalize and deschedule cannabis, thus allowing states to set their own policies. It also contains strong social equity provisions with an emphasis on restorative justice for communities most impacted by cannabis prohibition. The act was introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) just over a year ago, and historically received committee approval last November, but has since awaited further action to advance to the House floor.
Just days ago, Marijuana Moment reported that the House of Representatives is planning a floor vote on this legislation for September, according to an aide for a key congressional committee chair and several advocates. The hope is to get as many cosponsors on the legislation as possible, which will hopefully compel Speaker Nancy Pelosi to put it on the calendar for September.
But the calendar is tight, and the path forward is complicated. There is a host of speculation on its likelihood, and among COVID-19, partisan wrangling, and the politics leading up to the election, there are many unknowns. You can read more about that here.
MPP views this legislation as an opportunity for the federal government to enter the cannabis conversation in an impactful and supportive way, as the measure addresses two key challenges we currently face. First, it would be a major step forward in criminal justice reform at a critical time as we work to address injustices and inequalities in our criminal justice system. Second, it would empower states to implement programs that can encourage economic growth when it is urgently needed.
As our own Director of Federal Policies Don Murphy told Marijuana Moment, “ [MPP] supports the MORE Act because platform planks, task force reports, and political rhetoric will not stop 600,000 of our citizens from arrest, prosecution, and incarceration every year. The MORE Act will.”
Read MPP’s letter to House members here.