WASHINGTON, D.C. (KION) The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement, or MORE, Act would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, and it is cosponsored by Congressman Jimmy Panetta.
Panetta said the bill would also reassess marijuana convictions and invest in local communities.
According to Panetta, the MORE Act would accomplish several things:
- Decriminalize marijuana by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act and apply it retroactively to prior and pending convictions. It would also let states set their own policy.
- Require federal courts to expunge prior convictions, let prior offenders request expungement and require courts to conduct re-sentencing hearings for people still under supervision.
- Authorize the assessment of a 5% sales tax on marijuana and related products to create an Opportunity Trust Fund that includes three grant programs: the Community Reinvestment Grant Program, the Cannabis Opportunity Grant Program and the Equitable Licensing Grant Program.
- Open the Small Business Administration to funding for legitimate marijuana-related businesses.
- Provide protections for marijuana use or possession that do not discriminate and for previous marijuana-related convictions.
- Require the Bureau of Labor Statistics to collect industry demographics to make sure people of color and other groups are not at a disadvantage.
"The federal government has lagged behind as states like California continue to modernize how we regulate and decriminalize cannabis," said Congressman Panetta. "The MORE Act not only deschedules cannabis at the federal level, it also provides a roadmap for states to legalize in a just and equitable manner."