House Passes Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana

December 4th, 2020, Cannabis Law

On Friday, December 4, 2020, the House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 by a vote of 228 to 164.

The purpose of the MORE Act is to “decriminalize and deschedule cannabis, provide reinvestment in certain persons adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, to provide for expungement of certain cannabis offenses, and for other purposes.”

Simply put, the MORE Act would end the nearly 50-year federal ban on marijuana and would retroactively expunge certain low-level cannabis offense for both adults and juveniles. That is correct, if the MORE Act is passed by Senate and signed by the President, most federal marijuana convictions could be expunged. According to the ACLU, there were more than 8 million marijuana-related arrests in the United States between 2001 and 2010 (roughly one arrest every thirty-seven seconds). The MORE Act could have a profound impact on millions Americans.

This is a historic legislative hurdle, make no mistake, but unfortunately the MORE Act will likely fail to receive the majority vote from the Republican-led Senate. Unless there is a surprise waiting, marijuana will still be a federally banned substance for the near future.

For more information on the MORE Act, you can read the full text of the bill here.