In the previous Congressional session, members of the House of Representatives made history by passing the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act to repeal the federal prohibition and criminalization of marijuana.
The bill has a history of bipartisan support. House members approved similar legislation last year by a bipartisan vote of 228-164.
In Wisconsin, the vote for The MORE Act was straight down party lines with Republicans Gallagher, Steil, Grothman, Sensenbrenner (now retired, replaced by Fitzgerald) and Tiffany all voting NO. Democrats Kind, Moore and Pocan (previous and current co-sponsor) all voted YES.
The bill would make other important changes too, such as:
- 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 basic rights and civil liberties of cannabis consumers under federal law when it comes to public benefits.
The bill has now been reintroduced as HR 3617 and is awaiting action. Please contact your Representatives and tell them to support its swift passage.