Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi issued a statement after the House passed H.R. 3884 on December 4, or the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
Pelosi described it as a long overdue step to address the devastating injustices of the criminalization of marijuana and the vastly disproportionate impact it has had on communities of color.
“Today, with the bipartisan MORE Act, the House has proudly passed one of the most important criminal justice reform bills in recent history,” Pelosi said. “This momentous step helps end the devastating injustices of the criminalization of marijuana that have disproportionately impacted low income communities and communities of color, and reflects the overwhelming will of the American people—47 states have recently reformed marijuana laws, with California at the helm of this justice effort.
The vote on the MORE Act was largely along party lines, with 228 votes in favor of the bill and 164 against. Five Republicans and one independent joined Democrats to pass the bill, and six Democrats voted against the bill.
“The MORE Act builds on these advancements and finally secures justice for those negatively impacted by the brutal, unfair consequences of criminalization,” Pelosi added. “This landmark legislation will also open the doors of opportunity for all people to participate in the growing cannabis industry and provide revenue and resources to communities to grow.”
One of the biggest perks of the MORE Act was its potential to right some of the wrongs of the War on Drugs, which mostly affected disadvantaged communities.
“Guided by the tireless voices of advocates and young people, and the leadership of Democrats, the House has achieved an extraordinary victory for our fundamental values of justice, equality and opportunity for all,” she added. “Our Majority will fight to enact this vital legislation as we work to lift up communities of color and advance progress for all.”