House Committee Passes Bill to Legalize Marijuana on Federal Level

November 20, 2019, 1:50 PM HST (Updated November 20, 2019, 1:50 PM)
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Today, the House Judiciary Committee voted to pass the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, which Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduced with Chair Jerry Nadler (NY-10).

The bill passed with a bipartisan vote, 24-10, and now awaits consideration by the full House.

“I’ve long been a champion for ending the federal marijuana prohibition, and today’s vote on the MORE Act is a crucial step forward toward ending our failed marijuana policy which has ruined people’s lives and strained our criminal justice system,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Congress must pass this bill so that we can begin to help heal the wounds caused by the failed war on drugs and move forward together.”

The MORE Act (HR 3884) would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level by removing the substance from the Controlled Substances Act. This would apply retroactively to prior and pending convictions, enabling states to set their own policy.

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The bill would also authorize the assessment of 5% sales tax on marijuana and marijuana products to create Opportunity Trust Fund, which includes three grant programs:the Community Reinvestment Grant Program, the Cannabis Opportunity Grant Program and the Equitable Licensing Grant Program.

Click here to read through the bill.

Gabbard has long called for sensible marijuana policies as part of her ongoing commitment to common sense criminal justice reform by introducing bipartisan legislation with fellow lawmakers.

The Hawaii lawmaker has also called for closing the gaps between federal and state law to resolve current contradictions and provide legally abiding marijuana businesses with clear access to financial services.

Gabbard is also a cosponsor of HR 1456, the Marijuana Justice Act to reform unjust federal marijuana laws and empower minority communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the failed War on Drugs. And, to protect veterans engaged in the state-legalized cannabis industry, Rep. Gabbard sent a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in June 2019 to demand a correction of the VA’s denial of loan guarantee benefits to these veterans.

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