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The MORE Act decriminalizes marijuana possession and uses at the federal level

US House Approves Cannabis Decriminalization Bill

It’s called the MORE (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement) Act or more technically, HR 3617.

In a historic 220-204 vote, the US House of Representatives passed marijuana decriminalization bill. Sponsored by Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler of New York, the bill will allow several instances of marijuana use.

Does this mean you will be able to get CBD products in Tennessee without fear of legal action? Let’s find out.

The bill was supported by most democrats, along with Republicans Tom McClintock (California) and Brian Mast and Matt Gaetz (Florida).

While the bill still has to pass the Senate, it theoretically enjoys large support among the American population. A 2021 Pew Research poll found that 91% of Americans agreed that medical or recreational marijuana use should be allowed.

What Does the MORE Act Do for CBD Products and Delta 8 THC Gummies Legalization?

The MORE Act was passed in the House of Representatives

The MORE Act, if passed by the Senate, will lift the federal ban on cannabis completely. However, legalization will be left up to the states. At the moment, only 37 states out of 50 have legalized marijuana in some form. The others have banned it completely. Among the instances that it decriminalizes will include jurisdiction within federal ministries and departments.

These instances include stopping federal agencies from denying security clearance to federal workers for cannabis use. Also, the VA will now be able to recommend medical marijuana legally to veterans with PTSD. Cannabis will now also be under a larger tax bracket as marijuana sales will generate sales tax.

The legal marijuana industry had generated over $25 billion in sales in 2021. This was a 43% increase over 2020 and is expected to generate $65 billion by 2030. Whatever the moral or legal qualms over the legalization of marijuana may be, there’s no question that it’s profitable.

Non-Violent Cannabis Offenders Will Be Cleared of All Charges

The MORE Act, if passed in the Senate, will also clear the records of all non-violent cannabis offenders. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer remarked that these offenses could “haunt people of color and impact the trajectory of their lives and career indefinitely.”

He included that these offenses could discriminate against people when it came to employment, housing, and federal benefits. Other discriminations included refusal of financial aid at colleges and universities, and even the right to vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remarked that the legislation was consistent with the occurrences in states across the country.

“It also addresses the injustices of it because of what penalties had been before some of these, this decriminalization took place…So I’m all for it.”

-Nancy Pelosi

The MORE Act Could Probably Heal Old Wounds

The war on drugs has been raging on since the era of Richard Nixon. It has been widely derided and regarded as a failure. Officially, a critical report was released by the Global Commission on Drug Policy in 2011 that read:

“The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed. In this seminal report, the Global Commission on Drug Policy calls on global leaders to join an open discussion on drug policy reform.”

However, meaningful drug reform across America’s fifty states is yet to be enforced. The issue of State’s rights keeps coming up to block legislation that legalizes marijuana across the country. Even though medical marijuana had been legalized in California as early as 1996, recreational use is still restricted. Only 18 states and Washington D.C. have passed legislation which allows for recreational use.

The war on drugs has resulted in mass incarcerations and an annual bill of $51 billion. Cumulative estimates show that the US has spent nearly $1 trillion on the war on drugs. 25% of the US’ population is incarcerated. The failure of the war on drugs, thus represents a huge miscalculation and a waste of resources and human life.

If passed, the MORE Act could perhaps start to heal old wounds in terms of releasing non-violent cannabis offenders. Also, legalization would improve access to medical marijuana which has been effective in relieving chronic pain. It would also be helpful to those suffering from anxiety and depression.

While this is not close to the reparations some may argue are warranted for the 50 years of pain, it’s a start.

The MORE Act Will Probably Lose in the Senate

The Senate will probably not pass marijuana decriminalization

Even with the MORE Act being passed by a slight majority in the House, fears are it won’t pass the Senate. A similar marijuana legalization bill was passed in December of 2020 and was championed by the House. It was also called the MORE Act. It was passed by a larger majority (222-158). Unfortunately, the bill was not passed by the Senate and it took 2 years to reintroduce it.

Most democrats in the Senate do not support the MORE Act or any form of marijuana legalization. And Republicans are almost universally against it. Hence, the MORE Act may be one of hundreds that preceded it which will not make a mark in history.

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