What exactly is the MORE ACT?
Wednesday November 20th,2019, The House Judiciary Committee passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment (MORE) Act in a 24-10 vote, setting the stage for a full floor vote. This is the first time in history, a congressional committee has approved a bill to end federal marijuana prohibition.
The vote saw two Republicans-Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Tom McClintock (R-CA) joined in democrats in support of the marijuana bill.
Generally, there was a debate following two leads. Republican lawmakers argued that the bill was being rushed and that it should be subject to additional hearings, while democratic members responded that there's been enough debate on the issue and that there is no time for delay in beginning to reverse decades of harms that came with prohibition.
In contrast, some GOP members who recognized that the status quo is untenable, pushed for legislation action on a separate piece of the bipartisan cannabis legislation called Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES)ACT this act would not contain social equity elements or formally remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act and would simply leave cannabis policy up to the states, arguing that a scaled down approach would fare better in the Senate.
The approved legislation, introduced by Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), would federally deschedule cannabis, expunge the records of those with prior marijuana convictions and impose a five percent tax on sales, revenue from which would be reinvested in communities most impacted by the drug war. It would also create a pathway for resentencing for those incarcerated for marijuana offenses, as well as protect immigrants from being denied citizenship over cannabis and prevent federal agencies from denying public benefits or security clearance due to its use. Nadler stated in his opening remarks, "
These steps are long overdue. For far too long we've treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of a matter of personal choice and public health. Ive long believed that the criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake. The racially disparate enforcement of marijuana laws has only compounded this mistake with serious consequences, particularly for minority communities."
House and Senate members, and outside legalization advocates, cheered the bill's committee approval.
"The Passage of MORE Act represents the first time that a judiciary Committee has ever had a successful vote to end the cruel policy of marijuana criminalization, NORML political Director Justin Strekal said. " Not only does the bill reverse the failed prohibition of cannabis, but provides pathways for opportunity and ownership in the emerging industry for those who have suffered the most." he added.
Nadler told marihuana Moment that he is optimistic the legislation will get a full floor vote before the end of the current congress, and part of that confidence comes from the fact that his panel has been communicating with other committees where the bill has been referred in the hopes that they waive jurisdiction to expedite its advancement.
Why is this important in GA?
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), ranking member of the committee, said he does "believe we need to change our attitudes and our processes because the federal government has completely failed in this area," but he does not support the MORE Act.
Other amendments was brought into the committee, such as the STATE ACT, which does not include the Marijuana Banking Bill. This Banking bill was previously passed in the House of Representatives 321-103 where all but 1 democrat voted in favor of the bill and the republicans were split with 91 voting for the legislation and 102 opposing it. Banks currently fear federal reprisal for taking legitimate cannabis business as clients and relies on this MORE Act bill.
The extensive and non reachable goals of small business who wish to get into the industry will not have a hard time with opening their cannabusiness and relinquish fear and anxiety in the communities hit hard by the years of prohibition in the southern state.
If MORE ACT gets passed on the floor it can possibly change House Bill 324 enacted for Medical Cannabis laws and dispensaries in Georgia with the removal of the controlled substance Act.
1. Being that prisoners get their records expunged and released from prison. Allowing ex offenders for marijuana offenses to work in the cannabis industry and profit at a low tax. programs such as education and social reform will give unbias revenue to people who have been outcasted in the cannabis space such as minorities and people of color.
2. It will take the away the fear from Doctors who have previously feared loosing their license for recommending cannabis in the state.
3. Patients may potentially be able to get cannabis either recreationally or medical for their health conditions that are not listed on the HB324 for the 16 medical conditions. Conditions that only applied to mainly end stage conditions.
4. Safe responsible use education can adhere to judicial recommendations and safe quality not controlled by big pharma and private prisons.
If MORE Act is negotiated upon or changed by the floor it could change how uniformity of the passing and descheduling on a country as a whole is based causing the continuation of racial, political, social, and economic divide. We still need your help.
Copied text from Peachtree NORML page :
HISTORIC: A bill to end marijuana prohibition just passed Today, you were a part of making history. The House Judiciary Committee just approved the MORE Act on a bipartisan vote of 24-10, legislation that you and tens-of-thousands advocated for by sending messages, making phone calls, and meeting with lawmakers in DC and district offices. This marks the first time that a congressional committee has ever passed a bill to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. Now, we still have much to do. Here’s what’s next:
We need to ensure that other committees do not attempt to slow the momentum,
Gain additional support to ensure passage in a full House vote
Build support in the Senate and convince leadership to schedule a vote
Many naysayers will tell us it is impossible, but that doesn’t mean we give up the fight.
When NORML was founded in 1970, only 12% of the public supported legalization. Now, we have a public mandate with majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independent voters all supporting the outright legalization of marijuana. When we raise our voices as one, there is nothing we cannot achieve. So thank you again for answering the call and contacting your lawmakers in support of The MORE Act. Please consider making a contribution to fund our continuing work to reform our nation’s marijuana laws. Then, take a moment to celebrate this win. We’ll be back hard at work to advance this further tomorrow. Thanks for all you do, NORML
Do you think we can celebrate now?
According to Dean Sines, Deputy Director of Peachtree NORML, "Don't pop out your Champaign bottles just yet! We still have state laws to adhere to, just like prohibition of alcohol ending, states will still try to limit cannabis such as dry counties with alcohol laws.
According to Dr. Yolanda Henderson, Director of Atlanta Academy of Cannabis Science, Its still a major step worth celebrating others now understanding the benefits and the longevity that prohibition of cannabis has caused as MINORITY WOMEN VETERAN IN THE LEGAL CANNABIS SPACE. Educating on the benefits and business of cannabis is my goals and with discussions of Continuing Education to top professionals there should be no reason the human race suffers behind a plant.
Open House at Clayton State University in partnership with Atlanta Academy of Cannabis Science to begin class Spring 2020.