While Cannabis has been deemed essential amongst legalized states throughout the country, thousands of people are sitting in prison to partake in a legal and thriving industry. Amazingly, Cannabis is legal in many States, but what's insane is that arrests and incarceration STILL target Black Americans over White Americans.
OFFFIELD is committed to using our resources and platforms to enact change, like our growing work with The Last Prisoner Project. Additionally, we support legislation like the MORE Act to restore justice to millions by decriminalizing Marijuana and expunging nonviolent federal cannabis convictions. Here's what you need to know about this legislation, whose vote was recently postponed in Congress. At the end of this article is a quick link to tell Congress your support for the MORE Act.
An Overview of the MORE Act
Introduced by Senator Kamala Harris, now Vice Presidential Candidate Harris, in 2019, the MORE (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement) Act seeks to legalize Cannabis while exonerating the over 40,000 people still incarcerated for nonviolent cannabis crimes while making the legal cannabis industry more equitable.
The MORE Act would legalize Cannabis while exonerating those incarcerated for nonviolent cannabis crimes.
The bill introduced by Sen. Harris specifically removes Marijuana from the list of substances that were blacklisted by the substance control bodies. The bill acts to eliminate criminal penalties for all individuals who manufacture, distribute, and possess the Marijuana.
What then does this mean then?
This means that Marijuana will be legal, which would make Cannabis legal while expunging prior cannabis convictions. This bill has equity at its core.
Is that all for the bill? No. What else then?
The bill seeks to make other significant changes that affect many areas of economic legalization. The bill would,
Impose a 5% tax on cannabis products. All funds generated from the tax will be deposited into a fund to help run charities all over the country. These include community reinvestment grants where businesses could provide assistance and offer equitable grants towards Cannabis licensing.
Create new protections for cannabis users and the industry. Ensure access for all citizens on or seeking federal public services freely and explicitly, making it illegal to discriminate based on Cannabis use.
Provide legitimate loans to businesses and entities that provide cannabis-related services to help motivate service providers to run legitimate businesses.
Address the wrongs committed by the war on drugs and our current legal system by expunging prior convictions on the state and federal level.
How will the grants be administered?
The bill sought to solve the issue by creating and establishing a Cannabis Justice Office harbored under the Department of Justice. This means that the whole process will be overseen by the DOJ and would make it easy to kick start the program.
What then does this mean for Americans?
It means that they will be able to use Cannabis, that federal and state policies would be developed to guide the creation, distribution, and sale of Cannabis, all while providing significant job and economic growth. Together, these actions would help reduce the risk of many companies doing illegitimate businesses and make sure that they have access to safe products.
Getting a bit deeper on these benefits;
Safety: The legalization of Marijuana will promote consumer safety. The creation of standardized, modernized and monitored growing, distribution, and development sales of cannabis products through proper regulation. Then consumers will get the best information on the products and consume with greater safety and trust.
Research: Marijuana research can come to the forefront. There has been far too little research on a plant that can provide legitimate alternatives to synthetic-based medications, like opioids, as a controlled substance. Excitingly, research can lead to an array of discoveries with untold benefits.
Economic Growth: Even in its infancy, Marijuana is one of America's best selling agricultural products; this means its legalization and sale to the general public will improve and boost the economy a great deal. This will increase returns to our economy, from tax revenues to business creation.
The MORE Act is the type of progressive approach to legalization that will serve our country well. It's a thoughtfully crafted piece of legislation that provides not just for the privileged few but makes Cannabis what it always has been a plant of creation, equity, and change. It's time for MORE.
Want to take action?
The patriots at Ben and Jerry's (yea the woke AF ice cream makers) have created an amazing tool to tell your representative you support the MORE Act. It's fast and effective. Then you can go for an OFFFIELD Enhanced run and enjoy a guilt-free pint of Half Baked.