In a historic vote today, November 20, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would effectively end marijuana prohibition.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019, or H.R. 3884, was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and passed out of committee today by a vote of 24-10.
“The MORE Act would federally decriminalize cannabis by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act, and would require the expungement of past federal cannabis convictions. The bill would establish a Cannabis Justice Office to administer a program to reinvest resources in the communities that have been most heavily impacted by prohibition, funded by a 5% tax on state-legal cannabis commerce. It would also allow the Small Business Administration to provide loans and grants to cannabis-related businesses and support state and local equity licensing programs, and would permit doctors within the Veterans Affairs system to recommend medical cannabis to patients in accordance with applicable state laws, among other provisions.”
To be sure, the MORE Act still faces rather long odds – the House is consumed by impeachment hearings and the Senate, not exactly a pro-cannabis group to begin with, hasn’t been passing much of anything lately. It’s hard to imagine the Senate getting more effective when unwanted Articles of Impeachment fall in their lap courtesy of House Democrats.
Still, today is yet another milestone on the long and bumpy path to ending the prohibition of cannabis!