Last month, I introduced comprehensive legislation in Congress to once and for all end the destructive policy of federal marijuana prohibition in America and to remedy the widespread inequities and injustice this policy has brought upon tens of millions of Americans — becoming the first Judiciary Committee Chair in history to take this critical step.
America has a moral responsibility to pass my legislation to end the prohibition of marijuana and take on the oppression at the heart of the War on Drugs.
I’m proud to work with NORML to create a more just national marijuana policy.
My bill, The MORE Act, is the most comprehensive marijuana reform bill ever introduced, and it’s backed by a broad coalition of civil rights, criminal justice, drug policy, and immigration groups.
Here’s what it does:
- Provides much-needed relief to the communities that have been ravaged by the oppressive enforcement of marijuana prohibition.
- Removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, which decriminalizes it at the federal level and thereby enables states to set their own policies. This also will pave the way for more scientific and medical research.
- Allows the existing state-legal marijuana industry to access financial services and enjoy the standard tax treatment available to all legal businesses.
- Gives veterans more readily available access to medical marijuana by no longer having Veterans Administration doctors risk federal prosecution for filling out state-legal medical recommendations.
In 1977, I cast my first vote as a freshman member of the State Assembly to decriminalize marijuana in my home state of New York. Since then, I have been committed to ending the criminalization of marijuana. The criminalization of marijuana is a mistake and caused grave harm, disproportionately to those who are poor or people of color, and we must take action.
The hysteria around marijuana is starting to lift as states across the country lead the way in reforming their marijuana laws. It is time for the federal government to follow suit.
Marijuana is a public health and personal freedom issue, not a criminal one. We can no longer afford the moral or financial costs of the War on Drugs.
Yours in Reform,