It’s a milestone in the history of cannabis legalization as the House of Representatives passes the MORE Act with a majority of Democrats and 5 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. Friday’s vote in the Democratic-led house comes as a silver lining for those supporting cannabis decriminalization, but for now, the bill still has to go through the Republican-led house whose majority members stand against the bill.
However, the main question is still surrounded by ambiguities. While patients using a medical marijuana card continue to register themselves under the state MMJ program, the chances are that patients will continue using a cannabis recommendation to avail of products containing more than 0.3% of THC.
Because as of now, the More Act pertains to the needs of those who faced unjust penalties due to the continuous war on drugs. So, even if the Republicans pass the bill, marijuana will be decriminalized, but not legalized on the federal level. This means that marijuana is still illegal on the federal level and here’s what you need to learn more about the bill.
Related: “Times are Changed, Weed mustn’t be a crime”: New Legislation
The MORE Act Will Build an Equitable Cannabis Industry
Besides decriminalization, the bill serves a larger purpose. It has a major clause that will address social injustices in the future and help lift the communities that have suffered at the hands of the War on Drugs. Not only this, if the bill finally reaches the President’s office, and he signs it, it will help open more doors for equity in the cannabis industry. In other words, people of color impacted by the injustices of the war on drugs will have a say in the matter.
While these nuances of the bill will bring about a positive change for the people of color, expungement of cannabis-related crimes will come as a blessing in disguise. Overall, the MORE Act will help anyone possess and consume cannabis without the fear of getting arrested on false grounds. Especially people who use marijuana for medical purposes.
Easy Access to Cannabis Business Administration Grants
Both small and large cannabis businesses cannot apply for business loans because marijuana falls under the controlled substances category. As a result, people who invest in cannabis businesses can neither go to a bank nor can they take advantage of the benefits associated with state tax policies. On the other hand, small businessmen have to pay a hefty amount to conduct any business related to cannabis without receiving any compensation from the state or bank authorities.
If the MORE Act becomes law, small businessmen will be allowed to take out loans. They will be able to conduct digital transactions freely. Moreover, people of color in the cannabis business will be able to avail themselves of the benefits given by the state administration.
In addition to this, the bill will pave a decent way for more job opportunities. Legal job training and job developments in disproportionately affected families will bring about huge positive change. All in all, these benefits will help repair the damages caused, help states incentivize taxes and connect national banks with cannabis businesses.
Expungement of Marijuana Related Criminal Records
According to Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chair of the bill, three generations of brown and black people have suffered at the hands of the federal cannabis laws. If the laws are enforced selectively. More young black and brown people will suffer immensely. This is why it is necessary to pass the bill and eradicate any chance of furthering social oppression.
For now, the bill will help expunge juvenile criminal cases since 1971. It will also reduce prison sentences for people in prison due to cannabis-related crimes. While all these issues will turn a new leaf for socially oppressed people, you have to understand that marijuana is still illegal on the federal level.
Marijuana decriminalization will still require you to visit a 420 clinic to get a cannabis recommendation from a state-licensed health physician. If you live in a state where medical and recreational cannabis is legal, you can use a state-issued ID to get cannabis. More importantly, as a cannabis consumer, you have to check your state laws before doing anything related to cannabis.