Following just one hour of testimony on Wednesday afternoon, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act cleared the House Rules Committee and is expected to be voted on tomorrow by the full chamber of the House of Representatives.
If the MORE Act becomes law, it will legalize cannabis on a federal level and thereby protect state marijuana businesses from federal interference. Weed will be legal all over America.
The committee did not add most of the last-minute proposed amendments to the MORE Act, and a Republican effort to keep the bill open for further changes was shot down. MORE’s chief sponsor, Rep. Jerrold Naddler of New York, will attach a manager’s amendment.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters that the MORE Act will be debated for one hour today and that the session will be “equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member” of the Judiciary Committee.
Rules Chairman Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts, opened testimony yesterday by stating that the MORE Act “will reform the disastrous war on drug laws,” and that its historic movement forward “is a testament to the many Americans who have pushed Congress to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level for many years now.”
Furthermore, McGovern said, the legislation “brings restorative justice to so many Americans while providing resources to those harmed by the war on drugs… Some have wondered why we are acting on this now. Well, I think it’s long past time and, in the words of Martin Luther King, ‘the time is always right to do what is right.’”
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a co-sponsor of the bill, added that the MORE Act “really is designed to eliminate decades of bad law and decades of discrimination.
“The cannabis laws were arbitrarily added to our statutes back in 1970 without any study,” Perlmutter said, “without any real effort to determine whether there were benefits or detriments of whatever. And thousands and thousands and thousands of people have been incarcerated ever since.”
There's even a Democratic Texas rep who's more than in support of the MORE Act. Texas Rep. “It is with a great sense of relief that I am supporting this long overdue measure," Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) stated. "[I] encourage the rest of my colleagues to do so as well… This is not to promote drug use. It is not to undermine law enforcement. But rather to bring justice to millions of Americans.”
Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, one of the most outspoken cannabis advocates in Congress, spoke for many when he said, “This is an opportunity for the federal government to get in step with what has happened in states across the country.”