ASA Applauds Passage of MORE Act in House Committee
November 20, 2019 | Reenal Doshi
Washington, DC -- Americans for Safe Access (ASA) applauds the passage of H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act), in the House Judiciary Committee today. The act, which includes elements from several cannabis-reform bills recently put forward in Congress, would, among other things, federally deschedule and decriminalize cannabis, provide for reinvestment in certain people adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, and provide for the expungement of certain cannabis offenses.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) currently classifies cannabis under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, a designation given to substances thought to have a high potential for abuse and no medical value. (For perspective, other Schedule I substances include LSD and heroin.) It is federally illegal for cannabis and other Schedule I substances to be “prescribed, dispensed, or administered for medical use.”
A key provision in the MORE Act would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. ASA has been actively advocating for the descheduling of cannabis since its inception in 2002. “This groundbreaking legislation would eliminate barriers to cannabis research and provide access for patients throughout the entire country,” said ASA Interim Director Debbie Churgai. “It is time our federal government steps up to provide relief so that patients everywhere can medicate without fear of losing any of their civil rights and protections, including while in federal housing or healthcare settings, such as hospices.”
In addition, if the MORE Act is signed into law at the federal level, insurance companies may be able and encouraged to cover the costs of cannabis for patients. ASA’s “2019 State of the States Report: An Analysis of Medical Cannabis Access in the United States” included responses from a feedback survey of over 500 medical cannabis patients revealing that affordability remains a significant challenge in states with medical cannabis programs.