The United States House of Representatives has advanced the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, HR 3884, and is set to vote on it later this week, as reported by NORML. This historic bill is the first reform legislation aimed at ending marijuana prohibition to ever be voted on by the House.
If passed, the MORE Act would effectively decriminalize and deschedule cannabis at the federal level, specifically to “provide for reinvestment in certain persons adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, to provide for expungement of certain cannabis offenses, and for other purposes,” according to the text of the bill. Thus, the MORE Act would serve as a turning point to rectify some of the harm the War on Drugs has done to non-white communities; as NORML wrote, it has been found time and again that communities of color continue to be negatively impacted by the War on Drugs.
One illustration of this impact is that, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), despite the fact that Black and white people use marijuana at very similar rates, Black people are 3.64 times more likely to be arrested just for marijuana possession than their white counterparts — a statistic found to be consistent in every state, as well as in more than 96% of the counties studied. The MORE Act takes this into account and provides multiple social and criminal justice measures aimed at helping communities of color, reported Rolling Stone.
Currently, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, the highest of the five schedules. The federal government defines Schedule I drugs, substances, and chemicals as those that have no accepted medical use and that carry a high potential for abuse. (For reference, heroin is also classified as a Schedule I drug.) Due to the nature and medical use of marijuana, many states have made moves to decriminalize and/or legalize it, and the MORE Act would eliminate this existing conflict between state and federal laws.
Want to have your voice heard? Reach out to your elected officials to let them know your view of the MORE Act.
Grewal Law PLLC has a team of cannabis law lawyers who focus their careers on helping Michigan residents obtain licenses to open cannabis businesses (cannabusinesses), as well as acclaimed criminal defense attorneys to advocate for individuals facing drug-related charges. If you are seeking legal help in either of these areas, contact our firm online or at (888) 211-5798 today.