Steven Hawkins, executive director at the Marijuana Policy Project, called the draft a “promising first step” and said he was “hopeful that it will lead to negotiations and bipartisan support for an inclusive and equitable legal cannabis industry.”
"His past work and public comments regarding medical cannabis are reasons to believe that he will not spend time or resources interfering with state medical or adult-use regulatory cannabis programs," said Violet Cavendish, MPP's communications manager.
"The MORE Act promises to address many of the harms caused by prohibition using an equity and justice-centered framework that allows the communities most harmed to access the health and economic benefits of the cannabis industry," said Tahir Johnson, MPP's director of social equity and inclusion.
"It doesn’t seem like a very heavy lift politically to say, 'The rules are the rules, and we can’t change the punishment, but we should change that rule in the future.' But he won’t even say that, and that’s frustrating," said Matthew Schweich, MPP's deputy director.
In a large-scale study led by the Marijuana Policy Project, the organization compiled information from all 19 states that legalized recreational marijuana, as well as Washington D.C. Due to the quickly increasing pace of legalization across the nation, nine of these states reformed their cannabis laws in 2020 or 2021, and in eight of those states, tax collections have not yet begun.
"In the meantime, Richardson’s plight has resonated with a lot of Americans who have lived through personal losses and turned to cannabis for relief," said Matthew Schweich, deputy director for the Marijuana Policy Project.