Today, after weeks of pushback, House Democratic leaders canceled a vote on the MORE Act, a bill to federally legalize and commercialize marijuana. Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration released the following statement in response:
“This is a massive victory for public health, safety, and quite frankly commonsense. Thanks to the actions taken by our thousands of supporters and the many coalition members we have activated nationwide, we have defeated the MORE Act.
“While almost 200,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and millions more are desperate for aid due to the resulting economic fallout, the fact that marijuana legalization was even on anyone’s mind is inconceivable.
“This bill was a non-starter from the very beginning. It would accomplish nothing more than greatly benefiting an addiction-for-profit industry and make our country less safe by removing marijuana testing requirements from safety-sensitive positions such as truck drivers and airline pilots.
“Furthermore, encouraging marijuana use in disadvantaged communities is 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 would only enrich the wealthy, white investors from Big Tobacco, alcohol conglomerates, and Big Pharma.
“Today’s news tells us many things. Creating new addiction-for-profit drug industries is untenable with the electorate during an election year. Once again, we learn that marijuana legalization is not inevitable – despite what well-paid lobbyists are telling us. And finally, SAM and its allies have ensured no new marijuana legalization bills have made significant progress for yet another congress.”