- Body: U.S. House of Representatives.
- Filing date: May 28, 2021.
- Author: representative Jerrold Nadler.
Status: On April 1, 2022, it was approved by the House of Representatives. On April 4, 2022, it was received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Finance.
Jerrold Nadler, the bill’s chief sponsor, recognizes that the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana, as allowed under several states, has created a conflict with federal law. The bill’s findings mention that 37 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have adopted laws allowing legal access to cannabis, and 15 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam have adopted laws legalizing cannabis for adult recreational use.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (“The MORE Act”) is a proposed piece of legislation that would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminate criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.
But the MORE Act could do more than just removing marijuana as a scheduled substance. If it reaches law status, the MORE Act would introduce social and criminal reforms that aim to address some of the repercussions of the War on Drugs, including: the expungement of prior convictions; the prohibition of denying any federal public benefit, including benefits and protections under immigration laws, based on certain cannabis-related conduct or conviction; the availability of Small Business Administration loans and services to entities that are cannabis-related legitimate businesses or service providers; and a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in communities impacted by the war on drugs, among other important changes.
The viability of the MORE Act depends on the Senate, who could oppose the bill because they have their own bill in the making: The Cannabis Administrative and Opportunity Act (“CAO”). The CAO Act is expected to be reintroduced this year.
The MORE Act approval could impact marijuana related legitimate businesses in Puerto Rico. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at your convenience at (787) 765-5656.