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Rep. Titus Statement on the Passage of H.R. 3617, The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) of 2021

Today, Representative Dina Titus (NV-01) issued a statement on the passage of H.R. 3617, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2021.

Washington, D.C. - Passage of the MORE Act in Congress is historic. It brings us out of the dark ages of a social policy similar to Prohibition. The federal government is finally recognizing the positive medicinal effects of marijuana. It is removing criminal convictions for marijuana use that have stigmatized thousands of Americans for life, many of them young Americans of color. In addition, tragically, our veterans have been denied access to medical marijuana for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder after going to war for us. Now, these veterans can get the treatment they need and deserve. 

I am a co-sponsor of the MORE Act. I have been trying for years to have unjust federal policies relating to marijuana reversed, so federal policies mirror what states have already accomplished in marijuana reforms. Far ahead of the federal government, Nevada legalized medical marijuana in 2001 and decriminalized marijuana use in 2017. In 2015, I introduced legislation to protect Nevadans from federal prosecution for medical marijuana use. In 2014, I introduced legislation to overturn the Department of Veterans Affairs policy of prohibiting its doctors from signing off on medical marijuana treatment for veterans.

The root of the problem has been the federal government’s resistance to removing marijuana from its archaic list of controlled substances, categorizing marijuana like it does heroin as a Schedule 1 drug. The MORE Act strikes marijuana from this list and removes criminal penalties for marijuana use. It also will clear criminal records for marijuana use and create social equity programs aimed at helping individuals in communities where federal help has been lacking. It would strike from federal law a prohibition on awarding federal permits to individuals convicted of marijuana use.

The MORE Act will help Nevada’s burgeoning marijuana industry by allowing marijuana businesses to engage in banking like every other legitimate business. This will clear the way for Nevada dispensaries to obtain loans and financing through federally chartered financial institutions.  It will set a 5 percent tax on cannabis retail sales. Revenue will go to the Opportunity Trust Fund, which will pay for job training, re-entry services, legal aid and health education programs in disadvantaged communities. With the passage of the MORE Act, the marijuana industry can become a key element of growing and diversifying Nevada’s economy, creating more jobs and putting more Nevadans back to work as we recover from the pandemic. 

I am proud to have contributed to the success of this legislation that will help our veterans, give individuals a fresh start, and grow Nevada’s economy.