Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act

Floor Speech

Date: April 1, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for my time.

I rise in support of the MORE Act which would finally reform how we deal with marijuana laws and how we should. Mr. Bentz said we should put more money into law enforcement. That is the opposite of what we should do.

Decriminalizing means cops spend less time busting people for marijuana possession and more time looking for people committing violent crime. That is a better use of law enforcement time.

Maurice Hinchey and Sam Farr on this side of the aisle knew it when they were here. They sponsored bills, as did Don Young and Dana Rohrabacher on the other side of the aisle, because it was a Libertarian freedom issue.

It is no secret the war on drugs failed. Harry Anslinger started it in the 1930s, and he vilified Hispanic Americans and said this was a way to get them.

Then Richard Nixon even had a commission that said we should decriminalize marijuana but then decided, because of Ehrlichman and Haldeman, that, no, the Nixon strategy was better designed at going after marijuana because Blacks and hippies who protested the war were his opponents, and we needed to go after them.

So they turned it around, they never legalized it as the commission said they should, and they made the war on drugs worse. It then went on and on.

Marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol. People do not smoke marijuana and beat up their wives or get angry and beat up others or drive their cars in wildly dangerous conditions at fast speeds and kill others.

Congress has been out of step on this issue. It is called cultural lag. We are finally coming around to rescheduling it from Schedule I where it is in a class with heroin and methamphetamines, which is absurd. We should have research.

We must deschedule marijuana. We must decriminalize it at the Federal level. Now is the time to do some remedies to our Federal marijuana laws. This is an historic time.

I thank Mr. Nadler, Ms. Lee, and the others who have championed this bill, Mr. Blumenauer, and let's move forward and do the right thing.