Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

MORE Act Passes: House Votes in Favor of Decriminalizing Marijuana

The MORE Act was led by Cannabis Caucus members Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Earl Blumenauer in the House. (Collage by Michael O’Malley/Curved Papers for CelebStoner)

In a historic vote, the House of Representatives passed the MORE Act today. The final tally was 228-164.

Congressional Cannabis Caucus members Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Barbara Lee led the push for its passage.

The MORE Act removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and deciminalizes its use and possession federally. It approves a 5% federal cannabis tax, expunges prior convictions and creates an Opportunity Trust Fund for those most impacted by the War on Drugs. Read the full text of HR 3884 here

Prior to the vote, a Republican effort to return the bill to committee failed, 218-174. The following members made pro and con statements about the MORE Act: 

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) - con

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) - con

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) - pro

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) - pro

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) - pro

Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) - pro

Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) - pro

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) - pro

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) - pro

Rep. Vickie Hartzler (R-MO) - con

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) - pro

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) - pro

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) - pro

Rep. Jim Jordan (R- OH) - con

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) - pro

Rep. Debbie Lesko (D-AZ) - con

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) - pro

Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) - con

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) - con

Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) - con

Rep. Peter Stuber (R-MN) - con

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D- NY) - pro

The following Democrats voted against the MORE Act:

Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX)

Rep. Conor Lamb (PA)

Rep. Daniel Lapinski (IL)

Rep. Chris Papaps (NH)

Rep. Collin Peterson (MN)

The following Republicans voted for the MORE Act:

Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL)

Rep. Brian Mast (FL)

Rep Tom McClintock (CA)

Rep. Denver Riggleman (VA)

Rep. Don Young (AK)

The More Act now goes to the Senate where it's sponsored by VP-elect Kamala Harris.

Blumenauer and Lee spoke to the media in a Zoom call following the vote. 

• Blumenauer: "This is long overdue and an affirmation that times are changing in the House. It's a way to motivate and get the traction. We're not done yet."

• Lee: "This is truly a milestone and a defining moment for racial justice. It's about racial equity. There's no better way to close out the year. It took a lot of time to get to this point. We still have a lot of work to do."

In a press release, NORML executive director Erik Altieri stated: "By going on the record with this vote, House members have set the stage for a much-needed legislative showdown in 2021 when we'll have the Biden administration in office - one that's publicly expressed an appetite for advancing the restorative justice remedies outlined in the MORE Act. We are primed and ready for this legislative debate and we expect, ultimately, to win it."

LaTourie Marshall, founder National Expungement Week, took issue with some aspects of the MORE Act: "The legislation that was passed today is a significant step. However, [we] cannot support this bill in its current form as it pertains to its continued restrictions on access to expungement, the lack of opportunity for individuals with cannabis-related felonies to participate in the industry and the continued funneling of much-needed community resources into law enforcement."

Adam Vine, co-founder of Cage-Free Cannabis, added: "We recognize the monumental organizing and advocacy efforts required to achieve the passage of this bill, but we will not support sacrificing the lives and dreams of those who have already been harmed by the War on Drugs in exchange for decriminalization or legalization of cannabis."

For now, let's celebrate the passage of the MORE Act with this great disco song by Andrea True Connection, a No. 4 hit in 1976...

 

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.