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 NadlerPelosi says House will vote on bill to repeal travel ban Nadler to miss a day of impeachment trial due to wife's cancer treatment Impeachment manager dismisses concerns Schiff alienated key Republican votes: 'This isn't about any one person' MORE (D-N.Y.) will join other House Democrats, including Reps. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeThis week: Senate barrels toward showdown on impeachment witnesses The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules House revives agenda after impeachment storm MORE (Calif.) and Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerLobbying world Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Progressives oppose spending stopgap measure over surveillance authority extension MORE (Ore.), on Tuesday to highlight the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Harris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? 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.