Representative Jerrold Nadler Reaches Out to NORML for Support with Revolutionary Marijuana Legislation
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler recently made one of the boldest moves in the recent battle leading up to marijuana legalization, reports Forbes.
In July, Nadler put forth landmark legislation to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, effectively opening the door for a recreational cannabis framework.
But Nadler knows that, despite an overwhelming surge in popular support on the issue, his legislation and his cause both face an uphill battle.
The Democratic representative, however, wants to garner as much support as possible. To that end, he turned to external allies for help – specifically the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
With some extra work on both ends, Nadler’s push might have a chance of success – albeit a remote one.
The MORE Act
Rep. Nadler’s legislation means big changes for drug policy, the economy and social inequality. Known as the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, not only does it plan to help legalize marijuana, but it also has plenty to offer in other areas.
Like similar reforms found most recently in Illinois, the MORE Act aims to expunge the records of individuals guilty of small-time marijuana offences. But according to Forbes, it does not end there:
“Beyond descheduling cannabis, the MORE Act would create processes for the expungement and resentencing of prior convictions and prevent government agencies from blocking access to federal benefits or impeding citizenship status for immigrants due to marijuana use.”
Basically, the aim is to give these non-violent offenders a chance to improve their lives.
The MORE Act also aims to tax cannabis at a rate of five percent. The government would then allocate the funds to specific key areas:
“Additionally, it would levy a five percent federal tax on cannabis sales, with some revenue earmarked for job training and legal aid programs for people impacted by prohibition enforcement as well as loans for small marijuana businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people.”
Again, this is eerily similar to Illinois, when their recreational legislation promised extra support and funds to disadvantaged groups impacted by prohibition – most notably visible minorities.
In his work to gain as much traction as possible, Nadler reached out to the supporters of NORML, encouraging them to write to their respective member of Congress in support of the bill.
Addressing the group’s backers directly, Nadler states:
“America has a moral responsibility to pass my legislation to end the prohibition of marijuana and take on the oppression at the heart of the War on Drugs. I’m proud to work with NORML to create a more just national marijuana policy. [The MORE Act will]once and for all end the destructive policy of federal marijuana prohibition in America [and] remedy the widespread inequities and injustice this policy has brought upon tens of millions of Americans.”
NORML Political Director Justin Strekal is optimistic. In an interview, Strekal expressed his strong faith that this would be the first legislation in history to end federal prohibition. He also calls upon anyone with an interest in the issue to put pressure on the government:
“Representative democracy is not a spectator sport. Now is the time for the majority of Americans who support legalization to demand reform from their legislators, just as Mr. Nadler’s message to our members indicated.”
WeedAdvisor’s Endorsement of the MORE Act
The MORE Act is monumental news. For the first time since 1937, marijuana prohibition could become a thing of the past.
Of course, legislators still have a long way to go. Even if the bill passes, setting up a framework for nationwide production, distribution and retail will require a significant amount of work.
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