STATEMENT: The MORE Act Will Bring Justice to Communities of Color Disproportionately Affected by Current Marijuana Enforcement Policy

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted to approve the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, or H.R. 3884, a significant criminal justice reform milestone. This comprehensive far-reaching legislation, which was sponsored by committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), takes steps toward legalizing marijuana at the federal level by leading with racial and social justice. It removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, expunges marijuana convictions, prohibits immigration penalties based on marijuana, and establishes that no person will be denied federal benefits based on marijuana activity. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).

“We commend Chairman Nadler, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), and the House Judiciary Committee for voting the MORE Act out of committee today,” said Maritza Perez, senior policy analyst for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress. “Along with the Marijuana Justice Coalition, CAP has called on Congress to enact marijuana legalization legislation centered on justice reform and equity. We are proud of the milestone reached today and ask that this bill now move swiftly to the House floor for a vote.”

The MORE Act takes restorative steps for communities most harmed by the war on drugs by establishing a community reinvestment fund for services in these communities, providing Small Business Administration loans to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own marijuana businesses, and pushing jurisdictions to develop equitable licensing programs focused on individuals most adversely affected by the war on drugs.

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