Federal Bill to Deschedule Marijuana, Allow Expungements, Gains 89th Sponsor

Legislation in the United States House of Representatives that would deschedule marijuana and facilitate expungements has just gained its 89th sponsor.

Congressmember Bill Foster (D-IL) joined as a cosponsor to the MORE Act yesterday, a little over a year after it was filed. The measure now has 89 sponsors, more than any other marijuana-related bill in the US Congress, except for the SAFE Banking Act.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act would deschedule marijuana, effectively decriminalizing it nationwide. The measure would also establish a federal excise tax of 5% on legal marijuana sales in the initial two years, rising to 8% in the fifth year. Furthermore, it provides for the expungement of previous marijuana convictions and ensures that marijuana users are not denied public benefits.

Representative Nadler has touted the MORE Act as “one of the most thorough cannabis reform initiatives to ever be presented in the U.S. Congress.” He emphasized its goal to amend the long-standing injustices caused by ineffective drug policies that have disproportionately affected communities of color and economically disadvantaged groups through measures like resentencing and clearing prior convictions.

While the MORE Act would deschedule marijuana entirely, the DEA is moving forward with a proposal to move marijuana to Schedule III. This change would legalize marijuana for prescription use across the United States while keeping it illegal for recreational use. The MORE Act would take things further by removing marijuana entirely from the Controlled Substances Act.

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