In a historic vote, a key Congressional committee, the House Judiciary Committee, has voted to approve the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement [MORE] Act of 2019, or H.R. 3884, which would effectively put an end to cannabis prohibition in the United States of America, on a federal level by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. Additionally, the bill also stipulates potential expungement of certain federal cannabis convictions.
This is the first time in American history a congressional committee has passed a legalization bill.
Expenses will be covered by a small excise tax legal cannabis and a Cannabis Justice Office focused on reinvesting resources into communities most affected by prohibition will be created. If passed in full, the law would allow the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide financial assistance via loans and grants to marijuana-related businesses. Physicians in the Veterans Affairs system will also be able to prescribe medical cannabis to patients within state specific laws. The bill, introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) passed with bipartisan support in a 24 to 10 vote.
This is a historic first step toward the end of marijuana prohibition.
The approved legislation was introduced by Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said in his opening remarks,“These steps are long overdue. For far too long we’ve treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of a matter of personal choice and public health. Arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating people at the federal level is unwise and unjust. I’ve long believed that the criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake,” he said. Nadler told Marijuana Moment that he is optimistic the legislation will get a full floor vote before the end of the current Congress.
Watch the committee markup on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act below:[h/t marijuanamovement/forbes]