Will The House Approve This Revised Cannabis Reform Bill?
A crucial and important chairman has set a goal to reintroduce a bill to federally legalize marijuana. Along with this bill will be measures that promote social equity. This reintroduced legislation may come as soon as next week in the House. As well its language will have at least two important modifications in comparison to the previous version of the bill. The news arrives as advocates anxiously await the filing of a separate cannabis reform bill. Currently, this bill is being planned by Senate leaders.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has stood in favor of supporting the MORE Act. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act were passed in the chamber. This approval was a historic time in the House even though it was shut down in the Senate. According to an email thread from advocacy groups, it’s set to be refiled as soon next week with some new terms.
Different references that are familiar with the strategy shed some insight on the matter. They also said their understanding is that Nadler plans to introduce the revised legislation ahead of Congress’s Memorial Day recess. However, a spokesperson in the chairman’s office was not able to verify details by press time.
This new reform bill will not include language that was added just before last year’s House floor vote. Which would have stopped people with previous cannabis charges from obtaining federal cannabis permits. Which you would need to run a legal marijuana business
That was a controversial stipulation that surfaced at the last moment which advocates strongly stood against.
The Process Of Cannabis Reform In The United States
Furthermore, the last version of the MORE Act included writing to help economically disadvantaged people enter the legal marijuana market. That specific language is being revised to reach Small Business Administration (SBA) aid. For instance, things like loans, financial literacy programs, and job training. This would be done to assist people who have been hurt by the war on drugs. Which would overall allow those people to seek good jobs in any industry, besides marijuana.
What Will Happen Next For Federal Cannabis Reform
While advocates are approved by the amendments, there are still further parts they hope to see improved as the proposal goes through the legislative process. For instance, they also made an issue about requirements added to the MORE Act prior to last year’s vote. Which would’ve specified that cannabis can still be incorporated in drug testing programs. Especially in regards to those who are federal workers.
An online cannabis media outlet all verified that the current strategy is for Nadler to refile the bill in the coming week. Yet the plan in place to reintroduce the bill has been previously pushed back. This means there is a chance that it could be delayed again.
It’s been 8 weeks since Nadler first stated his plan to reintroduce the MORE Act. If passed it would federally reschedule marijuana on a retroactive basis. As well it would allow those with prior cannabis charges to have their records expunged.
“For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of as a matter of personal choice and public health,” the congressman said at the time. “Whatever one’s views are the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, usage arrests prosecution and incarceration at the federal level has been both costly and biased.”
“I’ve long believed that the criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake, and the racially disparate enforcement of marijuana laws is only compounded this mistake with serious consequences, particularly for minority communities,” he added.
Final Thoughts On Federal Cannabis Reform
Furthermore, key Senate members also planning to file a legalization bill. This particular piece of legislation is expected to include similar social equity elements.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden. As well as Sen. Cory Booker has been working on the bill in recent months. This past week Wyden stated that it will be introduced “very soon.”
Schumer has spoken on the fact that the bill they are working on will “ensure restorative justice, public health and implement responsible taxes and regulations.” He also made a point back in March. During this time Schumer went on to say that it will specifically seek to limit the ability of large alcohol and tobacco companies to control the industry.
Rather, it will hold small businesses in high regard., Especially small businesses owned by people from communities most affected by prohibition, and focus on “justice, justice, justice—as well as freedom,” he said.
Coming out of the House, the SAFE Act a bill to shield banks that service state-legal cannabis businesses. This bill would be used to protect banks from being penalized by federal regulators which has already been approved this session. The chamber approved marijuana banking legislation three times last Congress. Yet once again the Senate shut down the bill passing.