The MORE Act will decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and expunge convictions for non-violent offenses.
The bill passed 220-204.
The MORE Act was introduced by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who said before the vote:
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or the “MORE Act,” is long overdue legislation that would reverse decades of failed federal policies based on the criminalization of marijuana. It would also take steps to address the heavy toll these policies have taken across the country, particularly among communities of color.
For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of as a matter of personal choice and public health. Whatever one’s views are on the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, the policy of arrests, prosecution, and incarceration at the Federal level has proven both unwise and unjust.
That is why the MORE Act would set a new path forward and would begin to correct some of the injustices of the last fifty years. The bill decriminalizes marijuana at the federal level, by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. This change applies retroactively to prior and pending convictions. It does not, however, undermine the ability of states to apply their criminal laws to marijuana or to legalize and regulate it, as they see fit.
Thirty-six states have legalized medical marijuana, and 19 states have legalized it for adult recreational use.
When America is struggling with an opioid epidemic and heroin is the scourge of many communities, it seems like a waste of time and resources to arrest people for recreational pot.
The federal government is slowly moving toward federal decriminalization. Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is pushing hard to make it happen, and it seems like it is a matter of when not if marijuana is decriminalized.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association