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Today Senate leaders unveiled a public draft of their marijuana reform bill, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. We’re happy to see that it includes vital social equity, reparative justice, and reinvestment provisions from the MORE Act which we championed in the House.
This is an historic chance to move federal reform forward in both chambers of Congress this year. But there are still exclusionary provisions that would deny justice to certain individuals, and we need to make our voices heard to get them removed.
Unfortunately, both bills contain exclusionary language that would continue to subject federal employees to drug testing for marijuana and deny certain individuals with marijuana convictions—who have already paid the highest price—the opportunity to expunge their records.
In order to truly end marijuana prohibition in an equitable way and begin to repair the egregious harms of the past, we must push to get these exclusions removed so people aren’t left behind.
That’s why we’re calling on the House to remove these barriers from the MORE Act and swiftly pass the bill and implore the Senate to also remove this language ahead of bill introduction.
We have been clear from day one that any federal marijuana reform bill must be equally comprehensive to the devastation that has been caused by prohibition, particularly in Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.
Our work is paying off and momentum for marijuana legalization centered in racial and social justice is growing rapidly in the states and among the public. It’s time for Congress to catch up and pass fair and equitable legislation.
Policy Manager, National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance