The MORE Act to legalize marijuana "will not get a floor vote in the House until after Election Day," Politico reports.
Cannabis activists were hoping the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which would deschedule marijuana and has more than 100 sponsors, would be voted on the week of September 21.
Instead, it's been postponed until the fall so that Congress can devote its full attention to the new Covid-19 stimulus bill.
Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chairs Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement:
"We have worked to build support for this historic legislation and expected a vote next week. Thankfully, the leadership has now given an ironclad commitment that the House will consider the bill this fall. The public deserves this vote and we will continue to build support to meet our objective of passing the MORE Act in the House and sending it to the Senate, which is one step closer to enacting it into law."
NORML didn't take the postponement as well in an email titled, "Justice Delayed, Justice Denied":
"Despite an unprecedented level of support, it appears the prohibitionists and concern-mongers have carried the day and the House vote on the MORE Act will not take place next week as we had anticipated. As of right now, we have received a commitment that a vote will be held in November, but we know that this promise provides little solace at this moment."
More on the MORE Act
Introduced in 2019 by Rep. Gerald Nadler in the House and by Sen. Kamala Harris in the Senate, the MORE Act “aims to correct the historical injustices of failed drug policies that have disproportionately impacted communities of color and low-income communities by requiring re-sentencing and expungement of prior convictions. This will create new opportunities for individuals as they work to advance their careers, education and overall quality of life. Immigrants will also benefit from the Act, as they will no longer be subject to deportation or citizenship denial based on even a minor marijuana offense. It also ensures that all benefits in the law are available to juvenile offenders.”
Highlights of the MORE Act include removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, expunging prior convictions, creating an Opportunity Trust Fund, providing non-discrimination protections and ensuring that “people of color and those who are economically disadvantaged are participating in the industry.”
The House version (HR 3884) has more than 100 sponsors and has received endorsements from ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance, Human Rights Watch, NAACP, NORML and NOW.
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