FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Twenty Groups Send Letter Demanding House Marijuana Vote
Progressive and drug policy reform groups recognize the urgency to move the MORE Act forward
Washington, DC: Today, House Leadership received a letter signed by 20 groups spanning the political spectrum demanding floor consideration of the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act.
“A supermajority of the public supports ending marijuana criminalization and addressing criminal record relief as the MORE Act would,” said Better Organizing to Win Legalization founder Justin Strekal. “Now is the time for Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer to again affirm that their vision for America includes repealing and addressing the harm that prohibition has inflicted.”
The letter’s signers represent millions of Americans and include American Family Voices, Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, National Employment Law Project, Our Revolution, People’s Action, and others.
The letter in part states: “The MORE Act already has a legislative track record of success, having passed on a bipartisan vote of 228-164 in December of 2020. There is no justification for continued inaction in the 117th Congress and we implore you to bring this bill to the floor before the April recess.”
Last week, a number of groups including Data for Progress, Daily Kos, Democracy for America, launched a petition reinforcing this call. Since then, more than 21,000 people have signed the petition, which can be found here.
The MORE Act previously passed the House in December of 2020 during the previous session of Congress, but the Senate under then-Leader Mitch McConnell refused to consider the legislation prior to the close of the 116th session.
Senate Majority Leader Schumer, along with Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden released a discussion draft of legislation they intend to introduce as soon as April.
“If the House wants to maintain its leadership role in cannabis policy reform, it must advance the MORE Act ahead of the Senate bill being introduced,” concluded Strekal.
The Marijuana Justice Coalition, which includes the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, ACLU, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, MoveOn, the Drug Policy Alliance, BOWL PAC, and others sent a letter two weeks ago to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer similarly insisting that the House Leadership team bring the MORE Act to the floor for a vote in March.
The new letter can be read here.
American Family Voices, Blue Future, Broward for Progress, Build Back Better USA, Center for Common Ground, Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Drug Policy Alliance, Indivisible Northern Nevada, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Minorities for Medical Marijuana, National Employment Law Project, Northridge Indivisible, OD Action, Oregonizers, Our Revolution, People’s Action, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, Venice Resistance
More about MORE
Core Message: The MORE Act, HR 3617, would end the federal prohibition and criminalization of marijuana, thus providing individual states with the authority to be the primary arbiters of cannabis policy.
FURTHER: The MORE Act would also make several other important changes to federal marijuana policy, including:
- Facilitating the expungement of low-level, federal marijuana convictions, and incentivizing state and local governments to take similar actions;
- Creating pathways for ownership opportunities in the emerging regulated industry as well as other sectors of the economy for local and diversely-reflective entrepreneurs who have been impacted under prohibition through the Small Business Administration grant eligibility;
- Allowing veterans, for the first time, to obtain medical cannabis recommendations from their VA doctors in states that have an established medical cannabis program;
- Removing the threat of deportation for immigrants accused of minor marijuana infractions or who are gainfully employed in the state-legal cannabis industry;
- Providing critical reinvestment grant opportunities for communities that have suffered disproportionate rates of marijuana-related enforcement actions;
- Protecting and respecting the basic rights and civil liberties of consumers under federal law when it comes to public benefits.
- According to a recent report by the ACLU, Black Americans are 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis-related crimes than white Americans.
- According to the FBI UCR, over 350,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related crimes in 2020 alone, over 90% of those arrested were charged with mere possession.
- The state-legal cannabis industry employs over 428,000 full-time workers; that is over four times the number of jobs specific to the coal industry.
- While the substance is not without harm, cannabis is objectively less harmful than legal and regulated alcohol and tobacco.
Quinnipiac University, April 2021
Question: Do you think that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States, or not?
- Overall: 69% Yes – 25% No
- Democrat: 78% Yes – 17% No
- Republicans: 62% Yes – 32% No
- Independents: 67% Yes – 28% No
Gallup Polling, Nov. 2021
Question: Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?
- Overall: 68% Yes – 32% No
- Democrat: 83% Yes – 16% No
- Republicans: 50% Yes – 49% No
- Independents: 71% Yes – 28% No
Pew Research Center, April 2021
Question: Which comes closer to your view about the use of marijuana by adults?
- 60% It should be legal for medical AND recreational use
- 31% It should be legal for medical use ONLY
- 8% It should NOT be legal
- 12% of Republicans say marijuana should NOT be legal
- 5% of Democrats say marijuana should NOT be legal
BOWL PAC works to unify the public, interest groups, and policymakers behind a comprehensive approach to marijuana legalization and justice for those who have been harmed under its criminalization.