Federal Leadership is Necessary to Responsibly & Equitably Manage Challenges Related to Public Health & Safety, Industry Oversight, Equitable Licensing & More
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) joined state and municipal cannabis regulators from across the country in calling on Congress to prioritize federal marijuana reform by passing the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment & Expungement (MORE) Act (H.R. 3884) when it comes up for a vote on the House floor following the November 2020 election.
“These regulators know first-hand the complications of regulating a substance that remains illegal at the federal level and the harms imposed as a result on communities of color and low-income people,” said Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance. “They also understand that creating a safe and equitable industry, which the MORE Act does, provides a historic opportunity to begin repairing the extensive damage prohibition has caused over the last 50 years.”
In the letter, regulators acknowledge the harm that persists while marijuana remains a Schedule 1 substance and argue that the support of the federal government is necessary for their efforts to more responsibly and equitably manage challenges and develop solutions related to marijuana policy. Of these challenges, they specifically note that regulations and standards to promote public health and safety, necessary industry oversight, and equitable licensing are directly in conflict with federal law.
The letter states that, “by removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, respecting state’s policies regarding legalization, affording legitimate cannabis businesses access to resources that allow them to be compliant and tax-paying businesses, developing and funding programs aimed at equitable participation in the cannabis industry and acknowledging and addressing the war on drugs and its impacts, the MORE Act would ensure that the federal government is a partner to state and municipal regulators both in our collective responsibility to serve our community through the reform of negatively impactful cannabis policies and in our collective responsibility to recognize and correct injustices.”
After the unfortunate delay of the MORE Act vote until after the election, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer provided assurances that the vote would take place before the end of the year.