A congressional committee will debate two bills aimed at legalizing cannabis at the federal level. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on various reform proposals, including the MORE Act, today with witnesses from the DEA, FDA and NIDA set to testify. The memo was released last Friday and begins by providing context on the state of cannabis policy in the U.S., outlining research restrictions imposed under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the legalization of industrial hemp, past petitions to reschedule cannabis and public health issues.
Known as the MORE Act, this proposal would federally reschedule cannabis, expunge the records of those with prior cannabis convictions and impose a five percent tax on sales, revenue from which would be reinvested in communities most impacted by the drug war.
Furthermore, the bill will create a pathway for re-sentencing for those already incarcerated for cannabis offenses as well as protect immigrants from being denied citizenship over cannabis and prevent federal agencies from blocking public benefits or security clearances due to its use.
Sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), would federally reschedule cannabis, set aside funding for minority and women-owned businesses and provide grants to help people expunge past cannabis convictions.
This bill would require the Justice Department to approve additional manufacturers of research-grade marijuana, protect research institutions interested in conducting studies on cannabis and authorize the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to inform patients about federal studies they can take part in.
This bill was co-sponsored by a group of House members, led by rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), introduced the bill last year. It would simplify the registration process for researchers interested in studying cannabis.
From Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), would move marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 under the Controlled Substance Act. Furthermore, this would clarify that while cannabis is schedule 2, the federal government cannot “prohibit or otherwise restrict” state-legal use, possession, transportation, production and distribution of medical cannabis.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) sponsors the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act, a bill that would make it legal under federal law for military veterans to use and work with cannabis. Furthermore, this bill would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to issue medical cannabis recommendations to their patients.
Read the full Congressional Marijuana Memo
Contributed by Richard Sanchez