The MORE law of 2021 was introduced in Congress

Is marijuana legalization about to go federal? The leaders of Congress took the massive and possibly historic first step on Friday when they introduced the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021, or the “MORE Act of 2021”.

The stated purpose of the MORE Act of 2021: “To decriminalize and decouple cannabis, reinvest in certain people affected by the war on drugs, erase certain cannabis offenses and for other purposes.”

The legislation was put forward by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler, longtime Democrat from New York, along with members of the cannabis caucus of Congress.

The importance of the proposal cannot be emphasized enough. If passed, it would end the federal marijuana ban – something a growing number of cities and states across the country have already done.

“Since I introduced the MORE Act in the last Congress, numerous states across the country, including my home state New York, have moved to legalize marijuana. Our federal laws have to keep pace with this pace, ”Nadler said in a statement. “I’m proud to reintroduce the MORE Act to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, remove the unnecessary burden of marijuana convictions for so many Americans, and invest in communities disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs.”

Why the 2021 MORE Act is Critical

The 2021 MORE Act places great emphasis on eliminating the racial inequalities of the war on drugs. The bill notes that “communities most harmed by the cannabis ban will benefit least from the legal marijuana market” and that “the legacy of racial and ethnic injustices created by the disproportionate collateral effects of 80 years of enforcement The cannabis ban are reinforced, now restrict participation in the industry. “

In addition to removing marijuana from the Federal Law on Controlled Substances, the draft law stipulates that “federal courts must overturn previous convictions, previous offenders apply for deletion, and courts must hold new hearings upon request for those who are still under supervision”.

The MORE Act of 2021 also approves “the imposition of a 5% sales tax on marijuana and marijuana products to create an Opportunity Trust Fund,” which includes three grant programs focused on the education of “those hardest hit by war.” against drugs are concerned “. “Funds for loans to support small business marijuana businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged people”; and “Funds for programs that remove barriers to the admission and employment of marijuana for those dated Minimizing drug wars on the hardest hit. ” . ”

From the sweeping marijuana reforms carried out at the state level to public polls showing a large majority in support of legalization, there are many reasons to be positive about the law’s prospects.

Political will to pass the law on Capitol Hill is also crucial. In April, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer made it clear that he and his fellow Democrats wanted to push legalization – even though President Joe Biden has been reluctant to back up politics.

“We will go forward,” said Schumer at the time. “[Biden] said he is studying the subject, so [I] I obviously want to give him a little time to study it. I want to bring my arguments to him, as many other proponents will. But at some point we’ll move forward, period. “

Schumer said his own development on this issue has been shaped by the changes made at the state level.

“In 2018 I was the first member of the democratic leadership to campaign for an end to the federal ban. I’m sure you’re asking, “Well what has changed?” Well, my thinking has evolved. When some of the early states – Oregon and Colorado – tried to legalize, all opponents spoke of the Horrible Parade: crime would increase. Drug use would increase. Anything bad would happen, ”said Schumer.

“The legalization of states has worked remarkably well. You were a great success. The Terrible Parade never took place and people were given more freedom. And the people in these states seem very happy. “

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