Thursday, November 21, 2019

CannaBeat: Cohen Pushes 'Landmark' Cannabis Legislation

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 2:52 PM

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When the House Judiciary Committee approved a “landmark” and “historic” cannabis reform bill yesterday, Memphis was there pushing it right along.

The committee approved the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. The legislation would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level, reassess and expunge past cannabis convictions, and fund a series of programs to help those unduly affected by the War on Drugs.

Memphis Rep. Steve Cohen, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee and a longtime cannabis advocate, voted to advance the MORE Act to the House floor. The committee vote was 24 to 10.
click to enlarge Ninth District congressman Steve Cohen
  • Ninth District congressman Steve Cohen

“These failed and racist policies disproportionately affected communities of color,” Cohen said in a statement after the vote. “The effects extend well beyond arrest and prosecution.

“This bill's expungement provisions help those convicted of non-violent marijuana offenses fully reintegrate into society and pursue their potential. Without a criminal record, they will be better able to find good jobs, access housing, and vote. I’m proud to advance this measure to the House floor and look forward to voting for it there.”
In January, Cohen introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act. It will allow access to medical marijuana for patients in states where marijuana is legal without fear of federal prosecution.

He also introduced the Fresh Start Act which would expunge criminal records for non-violent offenders with seven years of good behavior.

Watch Cohen's committee remarks on the MORE Act below:

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