Congressman Cohen Votes to Advance Marijuana Bill
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, today voted to advance the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act to the House floor. The committee vote was 24 to 10.
The comprehensive legislation decriminalizes marijuana at the federal level, calls for a reassessment of marijuana convictions and expungement of criminal records and creates an excise tax to fund restorative justice programs in the communities most impacted by the War on Drugs. At today’s committee markup, Congressman Cohen made the case to move forward on the bill. See those remarks here.
After the vote, Congressman Cohen made the following statement:
“It’s past time to remove criminal prohibitions against marijuana at the federal level. The MORE Act will help repair the damage done by the War on Drugs. These failed and racist policies disproportionately affected communities of color. The effects extend well beyond arrest and prosecution. This bill's expungement provisions help those convicted of non-violent marijuana offenses fully reintegrate into society and pursue their potential. Without a criminal record, they will be better able to find good jobs, access housing and vote. I’m proud to advance this measure to the House floor and look forward to voting for it there.”
Congressman Cohen introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act in January to allow access to medical marijuana for patients in states where marijuana is legal without fear of federal prosecution. Further, he introduced the Fresh Start Act which would expunge criminal records for non-violent offenders with seven years of good behavior. Many of those convictions would be related to marijuana. Congressman Cohen has long been recognized as a leader in marijuana legalization efforts.