Press Release

Congressional Committee Approves Federal Marijuana Legalization Bill

Sep 30, 2021

Congressional Committee Approves Federal Marijuana Legalization Bill

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Contact: Violet Cavendish

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted to advance the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, a bill that would federally legalize cannabis.

Sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the MORE Act is a comprehensive federal cannabis reform bill that contains strong social equity provisions with an emphasis on restorative justice for communities most impacted by cannabis prohibition.

Statement from Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project:

“We’re encouraged to see that the MORE Act is once again advancing in the U.S. House of Representatives. We cannot achieve meaningful and lasting criminal justice reform in our country without ending the war on cannabis. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have the opportunity and responsibility to come together and pass legislation to finally put an end to the decades-long failure that is federal cannabis prohibition. 

“States across the country have taken the lead on cannabis legalization, and now it is time for Congress to pass federal reform, a policy that is supported by a strong majority of Americans.” 

About the MORE Act:

If enacted into law, the MORE Act would: remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act; require federal courts to expunge prior cannabis-related convictions and provide for resentencing; provide grants and funding to communities most harmed by the war on cannabis; lift barriers to licensing and employment in the cannabis industry; protect immigrants from being denied citizenship over cannabis; and allow VA physicians to recommend medical cannabis to veterans. In 2020, the MORE Act was passed by the House, but it did not advance in the Senate. 

Earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Ron Wyden (R-OR), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a draft version of an alternative cannabis legalization bill, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. The final text of the bill has yet to be formally introduced.

According to the latest Gallup poll, 68% of Americans support marijuana legalization. To date, 19 states have legalized marijuana for adults 21 and over, and 36 states have legalized medical marijuana. 



Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization. MPP has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 10 successful cannabis legalization campaigns, and also works to advance federal reforms.

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