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House to hold markup Wednesday on marijuana decriminalization bill

House to hold markup Wednesday on marijuana decriminalization bill
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The House Judiciary Committee will hold a markup Wednesday on legislation to decriminalize marijuana federally and reassess marijuana-related convictions, the panel announced Monday.

Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill Jim Jordan calls for House Judiciary hearing on 'cancel culture' MORE (D-N.Y.) will join other House Democrats, including Reps. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeePro-Choice Caucus asks Biden to remove abortion fund restrictions from 2022 budget Progressives push White House to overturn wage ruling Lawmakers, Martin Luther King III discuss federal responses to systematic racism MORE (Calif.) and Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerMomentum is growing towards investing in America's crumbling infrastructure Five things Biden should do to tackle the climate emergency Bipartisan bill to provide 0B in coronavirus relief for restaurants reintroduced MORE (Ore.), on Tuesday to highlight the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWhite House says Biden would prefer to not end filibuster Biden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package It will be Vice (or) President Harris against Gov. DeSantis in 2024 — bet on it MORE (D-Calif.) has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

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"Our marijuana laws disproportionately harm individuals and communities of color, leading to convictions that damage job prospects, access to housing, and the ability to vote,” Nadler said in a statement.

"Recognizing this, many states have legalized marijuana. It’s now time for us to remove the criminal prohibitions against marijuana at the federal level. That’s why I introduced the MORE Act, legislation which would assist communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of these laws,” he added.

Lee said in a statement, “I’m pleased that this critical bill includes key tenets from my own legislation to right the wrongs of the failed and racist War on Drugs by expunging criminal convictions, reinvesting in communities of color through restorative justice, and promoting equitable participation in the legal marijuana industry."

“I applaud Chairman Nadler for his leadership and look forward to seeing this bill move out of committee,” she added.

In addition to federal decriminalization, the bill would require federal courts to expunge prior convictions and allow offenders to request expungement. It would also authorize a 5 percent sales tax on marijuana products to create a community reinvestment fund for communities adversely affected by the war on drugs.

The MORE Act would also authorize Small Business Administration funding for cannabis-related businesses and provide funding for programs that reduce barriers to marijuana licensing for the people most likely to have been affected by the war on drugs.

It would also require the Bureau of Labor Statistics to collect demographic data for those in the legal marijuana industry and ensure that people of color and low-income people are not frozen out.