STATEMENT: CAP Praises House Passage of the MORE Act, Calls for a Swift Senate Vote
Washington, D.C. — Today, in a historic vote of 220 to 204, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, an expansive piece of legislation that decriminalizes marijuana at the federal level. Akua Amaning, director for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:
Today’s vote is a critical step toward comprehensive reform and equitable marijuana laws rooted in social and racial justice. The MORE Act would not only deschedule marijuana, but it would also correct decades of harms by facilitating the expungement and resentencing of nonviolent federal marijuana convictions. Black people are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than white people, despite using it at similar rates—and these criminal records can be a lifetime barrier to economic security. By reinvesting tax revenue from marijuana businesses into the communities most affected by the war on drugs, the MORE Act would also help fuel job growth and increase opportunity for the communities most harmed by our country’s criminalization of marijuana.
In bringing this bill to the floor, House leadership—along with Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)—have demonstrated their commitment to centering equity and restorative justice and modernizing the country’s marijuana policies. Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., already allow legal use of marijuana; it’s now time for the Senate to build on this momentum at the federal level by passing the MORE Act expeditiously.
- “The Facts on Marijuana Equity and Decriminalization” by Akua Amaning
- “The MORE Act: A Fair and Just Approach to Marijuana Policy” by Max Hardman, Kurt Mueller, and Akua Amaning
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