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REP LIEU STATEMENT ON HOUSE PASSAGE OF BILL ON CANNABIS REFORM

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after the House passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (H.R. 3884), or MORE Act. If signed into law, the MORE Act would remove cannabis from federal drug schedules under the Controlled Substances Act and enable states to create their own regulatory framework for cannabis. Additionally, the measure would facilitate the expungement of federal marijuana convictions and incentivize states to make similar changes. It would also impose a tax regime on cannabis products and use the revenue to create an Opportunity Trust Fund to support people adversely impacted by marijuana criminalization, including people with previous convictions who want to participate in the cannabis industry. 

“Ten years ago, this would have seemed like an improbable day. As an original co-sponsor of this legislation, I am proud of the House for taking this important step towards removing the federal prohibition on cannabis and addressing some of the impacts of the so-called ‘war on drugs,’” Rep. Lieu said. “It is my longstanding belief that law enforcement resources and taxpayer money should not be used to enforce ill-advised cannabis laws. For decades, anti-cannabis laws have been used to disproportionately target black and brown communities and it is vital that corrective actions like the MORE Act help rectify these disastrous policies. California has a successful history of legalizing medicinal and recreational cannabis and, as a result, has one of the lowest rates of racial disparities among those arrested for cannabis possession. By de-scheduling cannabis, we can allow for things like adequate product regulation, safe banking, and a redirection of law enforcement resources to issues of graver concern. This bill is as smart as it is just.”

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