Thu. Sep 29th, 2022

Congressman Lou Correa applauded the passage of H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, one of the most comprehensive marijuana reform bills ever introduced in the U.S. Congress.



The MORE Act aims to correct the historical injustices of failed drug policies that have disproportionately impacted communities of color and low-income communities by decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level, reassessing marijuana convictions, and investing in local communities.

Also Included in the MORE Act is Congressman Correa’s amendment to medical research on cannabis’s effects on veterans’ health. Since entering Congress, Rep. Correa has fought to ensure veterans have access to medicinal cannabis as an alternative to dangerous opioid-based medications. The Congressman’s amendment ensures additional research is conducted on the efficacy of cannabis in treating PTSD, chronic pain, and other service-connected ailments affecting veterans.

Rep. Lou Correa said, “For years, federal law has been at odds with the will of the American people. Countless Americans of all backgrounds support the decriminalization of cannabis with more than half of all Americans living in a jurisdiction where cannabis is already legal in some form. Today’s vote realigns federal law with the will of the people.

“The passage of the MORE Act is a great leap forward in undoing the damage caused by the war on drugs and in establishing a safe and well-regulated cannabis marketplace. And most of all, today’s vote takes us one step closer to ensuring all veterans have access to medicinal cannabis as an alternative to dangerous opioids often prescribed to treat PTSD, chronic pain, and other wounds won on the battlefield. There is more work to be done, but today is a good day for all Americans.”

Background

Congressman Lou Correa has been leading the charge to decriminalize cannabis and improve medicinal access for patients who depend on cannabis to treat chronic pain, PTSD, and other ailments. The Congressman is an original cosponsor of the MORE Act and has worked hand-in-hand with stakeholders and patients to reform cannabis laws in the United States.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act:

  • Decriminalizes marijuana at the federal level by removing the substance from the Controlled Substances Act. This applies retroactively to prior and pending cannabis convictions and enables states to set their own policy.
  • Requires federal courts to expunge prior cannabis convictions, allows prior offenders to request expungement, and requires courts, on motion, to conduct re-sentencing hearings for those still under supervision.
    • Authorizes the assessment of a 5% sales tax on marijuana and marijuana products to create an Opportunity Trust Fund, which includes three grant programs:
    • The Community Reinvestment Grant Program: Provides services to the individuals most adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, including job training, re-entry services, legal aid, literacy programs, youth recreation, mentoring, and substance use treatment.
    • The Cannabis Opportunity Grant Program: Provides funds for loans to assist small businesses in the marijuana industry that are owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
    • The Equitable Licensing Grant Program: Provides funds for programs that minimize barriers to marijuana licensing and employment for the individuals most adversely impacted by the War on Drugs.
  • Opens up Small Business Administration funding for legitimate cannabis-related businesses and service providers.
  • Provides non-discrimination protections for marijuana use or possession, and for prior convictions for a marijuana offense:
    • Prohibits the denial of any federal public benefit (including housing) based on the use or possession of marijuana, or prior conviction for a marijuana offense.
    • Provides that the use or possession of marijuana, or prior conviction for a marijuana offense, will have no adverse impact under the immigration laws.
  • Requires the Bureau of Labor Statistics to collect data on the demographics of the industry to ensure people of color and those who are economically disadvantaged are participating in the industry.

About Representative Correa

Rep. Lou Correa represents California’s 46th Congressional District. He serves as Chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security, and as the Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.

The article above was released by the office of Congressman Lou Correa (D-CA46).

By Editor

Art Pedroza started Orange County's first political blog, the Orange Juice, back in 2003. He now publishes the top civic blog in Orange County - New Santa Ana, plus other blogs including New Anaheim, New Fullerton and the Irvine News Blog, as well as the OC Politics Blog.

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