The House of Representatives voted Friday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and to expunge nonviolent convictions for marijuana-related offenses. The MORE Act also authorizes a 5% sales tax on marijuana products to be reinvested in community grants and programs including job training, legal aid and substance abuse treatment for communities who were disproportionately targeted by the “war on drugs.” This is California Congressmember Barbara Lee, who co-sponsored the bill, speaking on the House floor ahead of Friday’s historic vote.
Rep. Barbara Lee: “Black and Brown people are targeted more frequently than white Americans despite equal rates of use. Additionally, prison sentences for Black and Brown people are more likely to be lengthier than white people. Black men receive sentences over 13% longer than white men, and nearly 80% of people in federal prisons for drug offenses are Black or Latino.”