Pappas Statement on MORE Act Vote


Date: April 1, 2022
Issues: Drugs

Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) released the following statement ahead of voting against the MORE Act:

"I support decriminalizing marijuana, taking it off Schedule I, and making important federal reforms so states can choose how to appropriately regulate these substances. But the MORE Act is not the right way to do this. It is a deeply flawed bill that contains loopholes that would jeopardize public safety for Granite Staters and all Americans. I am disappointed that the full House was not given a chance to support the bipartisan amendment I submitted to address these issues, including explicitly preventing violent felons, organized crime leadership, or anyone who has been found guilty of trafficking fentanyl from being let out of prison or having their federal records expunged. I hoped the House would have undertaken a more deliberative process to find a way forward on this issue. Instead, the House is moving the same bill it passed in 2020 that has no chance of passing the Senate or becoming law. Moving forward, I hope to work with my colleagues to close these loopholes and craft a bill that can become law. We must continue to work to get this policy right because it's long past the time to achieve reform."

As written, the MORE Act includes several loopholes that could make drug traffickers eligible for records expungement. Pappas's proposed bipartisan amendment would have closed these loopholes to ensure that anyone who falls into the following categories would not mistakenly be made eligible for records expungement:

Anyone who has played a leadership role in an organized crime enterprise.
Anyone who has been found guilty of trafficking fentanyl.
Anyone who was found guilty of a crime of violence, a sex offense, an offense causing death or serious bodily injury, a serious violent felony, or has a prior conviction for such an offense.
Anyone who was found guilty of possession of a dangerous weapon or the use or threat of violence in relation to their conviction.
Anyone who was found guilty of distributing drugs in or near schools, or to minors.
Define the term "non-violent," with respect to a federal cannabis offense, as one in which the offense did not involve the possession of a dangerous weapon or the threat, use, or direction of violence.