A bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers on Wednesday sent a letter to congressional leadership, demanding that a bill to federally legalize marijuana be “expeditiously” taken up by Congress. The letter, led by Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D-WA), urges action on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act—a bill sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that cleared the House in a historic first in 2020 and has since passed the sponsor’s panel again this session but has not yet been scheduled for floor consideration. The legislators are also making the request on broad marijuana reform as the House is set this week to take up a more incremental proposal again to protect banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses after it’s already cleared the chamber five times in some form. Advocates have been eager to see the comprehensive MORE Act reconsidered on the floor in the new session, especially with Democrats now in control of both chambers as well as the White House. The lawmakers said that they remain “disheartened” that the Senate didn’t advance the MORE Act after it cleared the House, but they’re “optimistic that the bill’s re-introduction this Congress indicates progress for descheduling marijuana.” Signatories said that the MORE Act “is foundational in righting systemic injustices and removing barriers for families and individuals nationwide” and so it should be “expeditiously considered by the House and Senate.” The letter describes the contents of the MORE Act, its focus on promoting social equity in the industry, racial disparities in marijuana arrests, and the long-term consequences of having a cannabis conviction on a person’s record.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 02/02/2022 15:58:00