The MORE Act of 2021 Introduced In Congress

Lawmakers have introduced the MORE Act of 2021 in another push to reform cannabis law.
The MORE Act of 2021 Introduced In Congress

Is marijuana legalization about to go federal? Congressional leaders took the massive and potentially historic first step on Friday, when they introduced the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act of 2021, or “The MORE Act of 2021”.

The stated purpose of the MORE Act of 2021: “To decriminalize and deschedule cannabis, 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.” 

The legislation was brought by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, the longtime Democrat from New York, along with members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

The significance of the proposal can’t be overstated. If it passed, it would end the federal prohibition on marijuana—something a growing number of cities and states across the country have already done. 

“Since I introduced the MORE Act last Congress, numerous states across the nation, including my home state of New York, have moved to legalize marijuana. Our federal laws must keep up with this pace,” Nadler said in a statement. “I’m proud to reintroduce the MORE Act to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, remove the needless burden of marijuana convictions on so many Americans, and invest in communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs.”

Why The MORE Act of 2021 Is Crucial

The MORE Act of 2021 places heavy emphasis on remedying the racial inequities of the War on Drugs, with the bill noting that “communities that have been most harmed by cannabis prohibition are benefiting the least from the legal marijuana marketplace,” and that “legacy of racial and ethnic injustices, compounded by the disproportionate collateral consequences of 80 years of cannabis prohibition enforcement, now limits participation in the industry.”

Along with removing marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act, the bill requires “federal courts to expunge prior convictions, allows prior offenders to request expungement, and requires courts, on motion, to conduct re-sentencing hearings for those still under supervision.”

The MORE Act of 2021 also authorizes “the assessment of a 5% sales tax on marijuana and marijuana products to create an Opportunity Trust Fund,” which includes three grant programs focused on providing training to “individuals most adversely impacted by the War on Drugs,” “funds for loans to assist small businesses in the marijuana industry that are owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals,” and “funds for programs that minimize barriers to marijuana licensing and employment for the individuals most adversely impacted by the War on Drugs.”

From the sweeping marijuana reforms implemented on the state level, to public polling showing wide majorities in support of legalization, there is plenty of reason to feel bullish on the bill’s prospects. 

There is also, crucially, political will to pass the law on Capitol Hill. In April, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made it clear that he and his fellow Democrats were eager to press forward on legalization—even though President Joe Biden has thus far shown reluctance to get behind the policy.

“We will move forward,” Schumer said at the time. “[Biden] said he’s studying the issue, so [I] obviously want to give him a little time to study it. I want to make my arguments to him, as many other advocates will. But at some point we’re going to move forward, period.”

Schumer said his own evolution on the issue was shaped by the changes made at the state level.

“In 2018, I was the first member of the Democratic leadership to come out in support of ending the federal prohibition. I’m sure you ask, “Well what changed?” Well, my thinking evolved. When a few of the early states—Oregon and Colorado—wanted to legalize, all the opponents talked about the parade of horribles: Crime would go up. Drug use would go up. Everything bad would happen,” Schumer said.

“The legalization of states worked out remarkably well. They were a great success. The parade of horribles never came about, and people got more freedom. And people in those states seem very happy.”

  1. We need to end cannabis prohibition federally and across all 50 US States immediately. It’s archaic law and causes many to be marginalized. We no longer should ignore the fact many are being jailed or sent to state prisons over cannabis. The people of the United States should stand together to put an end to this corrupt and archaic law. Free the people, legalize cannabis across all 50 states and territories.

  2. The MORE Act was reintroduced yesterday by the House of Representatives. Logically I would have expected the SAFE Act (Banking) and Decriminalization (Rescheduling from Sch 1 to 2 or 3) of Cannabls to be passed either by a narrow margin or executive order but one half of 2021 is almost over and progress is moving very slowly for legalization. I do hope Schumer/Dems do not just use these topics for political votes for 2022 elections against the Republicans. Small cannabis businesses and our economy need safe banking practices, investments, and interstate commerce to grow. If the MORE Act can’t get through let’s hope they at least pass the SAFE Act (for banking access). These companies are expected to still pay taxes, at least let them run their businesses safely.

    1. 100% agreed. That bill would make us legal, without stealing an additional 5% of our labor for some CRT BS.

  3. I’m excited that this long time due time in this country is coming too understand of the impact on people’s life over a illegal naturally grown and beautiful plant has caused more harm then it has good…it is crazy to think of how a plant has more benefits then it does harm, mentally and physically, and we need to make this a better more free place where a plant can be grown without worrying that are doors will be kicked in, or kids be taken and then the incarceration and causing family issues because someone in power dont like it, or whatever there ignorant excuse was for the dumbest law we have…but enough with the downs and bad ways of the past…let’s lift this country up and move forward past the mistakes now and we can do what is right, free the weed for the people that deserve to live there life free with the choice to smoke weed to relax there mind or benefit from the medical benefits of this plant they have a hydrophobia of because they are destroying good people for dumb ignorant laws that reek havoc on our people.

  4. I’m sooo ready to plant some cannabis seeds once these politicians legalize it. Why would you ever make a plant illegal in the first place?! I can imagine my garden after it’s legal, full of beautiful cannabis, vegetable, and herb plants. Every plant that the Great Spirit created is full of goodness. “Jah made herb for the healing of a nation” -Bob Marley

  5. I am unsure why no one is calling attention to the fact that the MORE Act is just a title and in fact makes federal penalties for cannabis offenses harsher and easier to prosecute. It “strikes” the term Marijuana here & there and but in the end, just formalizes the existing “Legal” Cannabis Market without doing much for the people depicted as the most impacted in the opening findings. Five years and 10k for each transaction that does not comply with the statutes…. It’s like the Tax Stamp on steroids lol

  6. It’s hard to discourage the use of alcohol and tobacco when they are in every store on every corner. At least allow cannabis to sit beside them on the shelves for a healthier option

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