African Americans are two times more likely to be arrested and charge with simple possession of a Marijuana offense than White Americans.
Marijuana has been legalized in several US states but still carries criminal charges at the Federal level. The 2020 election saw the State of Oregon vote to decriminalize all illegal drugs in a ballot initiative. Oregon became the first US State to do so. One of the first countries to decriminalize all illegal drugs was Portugal which has now been the model many jurisdictions around world are adapting.
Friday afternoon, with the bipartisan MORE Act, the House has proudly passed one of the most important criminal justice reform bills in recent history. This momentous step helps end the devastating injustices of the criminalization of marijuana that have disproportionately impacted low income communities and communities of color, and reflects the overwhelming will of the American people — 47 states have recently reformed marijuana laws, with California at the helm of this justice effort.
The MORE Act builds on these advancements and finally secures justice for those negatively impacted by the brutal, unfair consequences of criminalization. This landmark legislation will also open the doors of opportunity for all people to participate in the growing cannabis industry and provide revenue and resources to communities to grow.
“Guided by the tireless voices of advocates and young people, and the leadership of Democrats, the House has achieved an extraordinary victory for our fundamental values of justice, equality and opportunity for all. Our Majority will fight to enact this vital legislation as we work to lift up communities of color and advance progress for all.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi