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 Nadler Floyd's brother to testify in front of House Judiciary Committee hearing on police brutality House Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on police brutality next week House Judiciary to hear whistleblowers on 'politicization' of Justice Dept under Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) will join other House Democrats, including Reps. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeMinority caucuses call for quick action on police reform Democrats call for Congress to take action following death of George Floyd Black Caucus member unveils bill to create commission addressing legacy of slavery MORE (Calif.) and Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerPass the Primary Care Enhancement Act Democrats introduce bill to include cannabis businesses in coronavirus relief Michelle Obama to promote absentee voting MORE (Ore.), on Tuesday to highlight the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Kamala Harris to Trump: 'Keep George Floyd's name out of your mouth' New England Patriots owner pledges M to social justice causes 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.