What Is the MORE Act?
The House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday, December 4, that decriminalizes
marijuana on a federal level. The bill would remove federal penalties on marijuana, and erase
cannabis-related criminal offenses.
The vote wasn’t surprising and largely followed party lines, with 228-164 votes. Only six
Democrats voted no, while five Republicans and an independent member joined the Democrats
in their efforts to pass the bill.
However, many are skeptical as to whether the bill will pass in the Republican-controlled
What Is the MORE Act?
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or the MORE Act, would
remove marijuana entirely from the list of federally controlled substances, and help cancel low-
level federal convictions and arrests related to marijuana. As a result, the plant would become
perfectly legal nation-wide.
Despite this being a win for the marijuana market, there may be some limitations as to who the
bills may protect. The bill aims to impact those impacted by the drug war, but the definition as to
who those people are has been changed to narrow the scope. Initially, it included individuals
who have been arrested or convicted for the sale, possession, or cultivation, of cannabis or a
Now, the bill’s language has been changed in such a way that some individuals may be
excluded from having the option of expunging their records or even purchasing marijuana
Where Is the Bill Now?
The MORE Act requires a vote on the Senate floor, where experts believe it’s very unlikely to
pass, even if it was a bi-partisan vote.
Republicans have already been quite vocal in their criticism towards this bill, citing a more
pressing need to enact coronavirus legislation instead. The Senate currently has no plans to
vote on the MORE act this session.
A bipartisan effort could enable all states to gain access to legal marijuana, but the current
Senate has not embraced the idea at all.
The House vote was largely viewed as symbolic, an effort for Democrats to underline their
position regarding marijuana. Party leaders had initially scheduled the vote on the bill before the
election. However, in the week leading up to the election, and a stall in moving forward with a
pandemic bill, the MORE vote was postponed.
Republican views on the legalization of marijuana remain against the reform, with many party
critics saying the decriminalizing the plant may end up creating even more troubles, citing the
lack of research on edibles and vaping as the main reasons this bill is pushed too early.
Additionally, some worry that declassifying the plant could increase workplace safety risks in
Symbolic or not, the bill’s passage in the House may make way for future marijuana legalization
policies, one that could also take into account the issues of criminal reforms and racial
inequality. Marijuana-related arrests impact black people more, as they are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people, even though there are no
significant differences in terms of likelihood of using the substance.
It seems the MORE Act, though historic, is unlikely to pass the Senate, which means marijuana
will continue to remain a classified substance at a federal level. However, if you live in a state
where marijuana has been legalized, you can access recreational or medical marijuana even if
federal reform is slow to come.
If you live in the Colorado Springs area, Medical Alternatives Clinic Online offers medical
marijuana examinations that can help you get a medical marijuana card.
Set an appointment to get your MMJ card, and gain easy access to cannabis in Colorado