The following information was released by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Momentum continues to grow for comprehensive marijuana policy reform as Congress prepares to vote for only second time in history to repeal federal prohibition
WASHINGTON, DC: Members of the US House of Representatives have announced that they will hold a floor vote next week on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act. The MORE Act, or H.R. 3617, removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, facilitates expungement and resentencing for nonviolent federal marijuana convictions, promotes diverse participation in the regulated cannabis industry, and helps repair the racially and economically disparate harms caused by our nation’s disastrous prohibition policies.
“Advancing this legislation to deschedule marijuana and to help those individuals and communities that have borne the brunt of America’s failed prohibition is pivotal,” said NORML’s Political Director Morgan Fox. “More than two-thirds of Americans support repealing the federal prohibition of marijuana prohibition, and they deserve to know where our elected officials stand on this issue.
“On behalf of cannabis consumers nationwide and the people who have been victimized and marginalized by our misguided federal marijuana laws, we thank House Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Jim Clyburn, Hakeem Jeffries, Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ed Perlmutter, Nydia Velasquez, and many others for their steadfast support for comprehensive marijuana policy reform and for their efforts to bring this legislation to a vote.”
This legislation was previously approved in the House in December of 2020, but it did not receive a hearing in the Senate. Next week’s vote will mark only the second time in more than 50 years that a chamber of Congress has revisited the classification of cannabis as a federally prohibited substance.
NORML advocates for changes in public policy so that the responsible possession and use of marijuana by adults is no longer subject to criminal penalties. NORML further advocates for a regulated commercial cannabis market so that activities involving the for-profit production and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products are safe, transparent, consumer-friendly, and are subject to state and/or local licensure. Finally, NORML advocates for additional changes in legal and regulatory policies so that those who use marijuana responsibly no longer face either social stigma or workplace discrimination, and so that those with past criminal records for marijuana-related violations have the opportunity to have their records automatically expunged.
- Minority Cannabis Academy: Social Equity in PracticeThe Minority Cannabis Academy graduated its first class of 25 students in September. The Academy’s goal is to take advantage of the social equity atmosphere in New Jersey to help those most harmed by prohibition.
- Marijuana Policy Project Releases Voter Guide to 2022 Governors’ Races and Cannabis Policy Reform Ahead of Midterm ElectionOn Tuesday, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) released their voter guide to 2022 governors’ races and cannabis policy reform. In 36 states, voters will be choosing their next governor on Election Day.
- Green Thumb to Launch “RISE Express” Dispensaries in FloridaGreen Thumb Industries Inc., a leading national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and owner of RISE Dispensaries, today announced plans to expand its medical retail footprint in Florida through a lease agreement with Circle K, the global convenience store retailer.
- Missouri AFL-CIO endorses cannabis legalization constitutional amendmentMissouri AFL-CIO president Jake Hummel on Thursday announced his organization was endorsing the proposal, which will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot as Amendment 3, calling it a “huge step forward for criminal justice reform in Missouri.”
- Minnesota’s Black cannabis users far more likely to face arrest than white onesBlack Minnesotans are nearly five times as likely to be arrested on marijuana charges as white ones, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It’s a disparity that has persisted for years, despite data showing that Black and white residents use cannabis at similar rates.
- Lawmakers ask MO governor to add cannabis legalization in special sessionA bipartisan group of lawmakers and activists are calling for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to include marijuana legalization on the agenda of the legislature’s upcoming special session.
- In Brief: Pa. Governor Accepting Cannabis Pardon Requests in Sept.Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announce the PA Marijuana Pardon Program, offering expedited pardon reviews to people convicted of only minor cannabis possession for personal use.
- Michigan State Police stops cannabis testing after false positivesMichigan State Police have acknowledged that its blood tests for marijuana are producing false positives for THC, and it will immediately halt testing.
- Missouri Dems expect boost from cannabis, but split on specificsSupport for legalization and heartburn about the amendment’s details have led to soul-searching among Democratic Party officials across the state. The consternation is particularly acute among Black Democratic leaders.
- Signatures on Nebraska medical cannabis petitions to get another lookThe Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office has agreed to take another look at signatures submitted by a group seeking legalization of medical marijuana to determine if they should have been counted.