On Friday, May 28, 2021, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) reintroduced the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, the legislation would end cannabis prohibition by the federal government. The House of Representatives previously passed the MORE Act in December 2020, but the bill did not advance in the Senate.
Here is a breakdown of some of the key provisions in the measure, what’s going on, and what you can do to help.
What is the MORE Act?
The MORE Act — the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement Act — is historic in scope. It would end the criminalization of cannabis for adults by removing it from the list of controlled substances, eliminate related criminal penalties, and take several other major steps toward criminal justice reform, social justice, and economic development.
The MORE Act is one of several federal cannabis reform bills being considered by Congress. The legislation is sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Leadership in the Senate is preparing to introduce a separate bill with similar aims.
Serious criminal justice reform cannot begin in our country without ending the war on cannabis.The MORE Act would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, striking at the core of its harmful status in federal law, and it would provide essential restorative justice provisions to begin to undo decades of harm caused by prohibition.
Not only would the MORE Act end the criminalization of cannabis at the federal level going forward, it would also be retroactive. Cannabis arrests, charges, and convictions would be automatically expunged at no cost to the individual. (While an improvement, states could continue to criminalize cannabis.)
The measure would impose a 5% tax on the retail sales of cannabis to go to the Opportunity Trust Fund. The measure was amended to start at 5% and increase the tax to 8% over three years.
The MORE Act would create the Office of Cannabis Justice to oversee the social equity provisions in the law.
The bill would ensure the federal government could not discriminate against people because of cannabis use, including earned benefits or immigrants at risk of deportation.
The measure would open the door to research, better banking and tax laws, and help fuel economic growth as states are looking for financial resources.
How can you help?
Your representative will be voting on this measure, and now is the time for them to hear from you — a constituent. Please ask your representative for a “yes” vote on MORE if it is called for a vote.
We’ve made it simple: you can get an email message to your lawmaker in less than two minutes with this link. It’s an easy but powerful way to make your opinion known at a key moment. Reach out right now!
MPP Executive Director Steve Hawkins sent a letter to lawmakers in support of the legislation, available here.
MPP is fighting to end cannabis prohibition and the suffering caused by the war on cannabis. We rely on contributions from our supporters to sustain our mission. Click here to make a donation today. Onward!