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Washington, DC -- Americans for Safe Access (ASA) applauds the passage of H.R. 3617, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act), in the House Judiciary Committee today.
In December 2020, the MORE Act was passed on the full floor of the House of Representatives by a vote of 228 to 164, but was not considered for a vote on the Senate floor in the 116th Congress.
Even though medical cannabis is legal in 37 states, it is illegal for cannabis and other Schedule I substances to be “prescribed, dispensed, or administered for medical use” at the federal level. To resolve this federal/state conflict, the bill would remove cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, decriminalize cannabis, provide for reinvestment in certain people adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, and provide for the expungement of certain cannabis offenses.
ASA has been working to urge Congress to deschedule cannabis since the organization was founded in 2002. The Schedule 1 classification is given to substances thought to have no medical value and is incredibly archaic -- even the World Health Organization has deemed cannabis to have medical value.
“If this bill is signed into law, patients across the country, including veterans, can use this medicine without fear of losing any of their civil rights and protections.
“Moreover, this bill would remove barriers to cannabis research, and insurance companies may be encouraged to cover the costs of medical cannabis for patients.
“While ASA celebrates this move toward progress, we also look forward to continuing to advocate for medical cannabis patients’ rights and hope to see more emphasis on medical cannabis protections and exemptions in future cannabis policy discussions.
“If this legislation is signed into law, it will represent one of the greatest steps toward cannabis policy progress to date,” said Debbie Churgai, ASA executive director.
ABOUT AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS
Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a national nonprofit (501(c)(3)), is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists, and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research, with over 150,000 advocates in all 50 states.