The United States House Judiciary Committee held a vote on the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, a bill to federally legalize, commercialize, and tax the use of marijuana. Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration, released the following statement ahead of the committee vote:
“To put it simply, this bill is a complete nonstarter. The MORE Act will do nothing more than benefit an addiction-for-profit industry by legalizing the sale of addictive, kid friendly products and the super-concentrated THC oils presently at the center of a nationwide epidemic responsible for more than 40 deaths and over 2,000 cases of lung illness. What’s more, it will make our country less safe by removing marijuana testing requirements from safety sensitive positions such as truck drivers and airline pilots.
“Dealing with social justice concerns is possible without green-lighting this industry. Working to expunge prior records is a cornerstone of any serious social justice push, but it is counterproductive to pair this with the commercialization of marijuana which has led to very real negative impacts.
“Encouraging marijuana use in disadvantaged communities is in fact a social injustice. In states that have expanded this industry, pot shops are disproportionately located in communities of color and low income. Overall, less than two percent of the marijuana industry is owned by minorities from any community. Those most harmed by previous drug laws are not the ones benefited by commercialization. This bill will only enrich the wealthy, white investors from Big Tobacco, alcohol conglomerates, and Big Pharma.”