The R Street Institute urges all members to vote yes on H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 or the MORE Act of 2019. It would end the criminalization of cannabis for adults by removing it from the list of controlled substances, reduce related criminal penalties and bolster momentum in the spaces of criminal justice reform, social justice equity and economic development.

The MORE Act can open the door to additional medical research, better banking and tax laws, and help fuel economic growth as we financially recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, writing from the perspective of the R Street Institute’s Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties team, we believe that this measure is critically important to supporting justice reform.

According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a person is arrested for a marijuana-related offense every 58 seconds. There were 545,602 marijuana arrests in the country in 2019, and 92 percent of these arrests were for marijuana possession alone. In fact, in the United States, there are more arrests for marijuana possession each year than for all violent crimes combined.

We often articulate the benefits of more effective policing and increased access to record-clearing provisions, and we believe that passage of the MORE Act can aid both of those goals.

For these reasons and more, we hope all members will join us in supporting HR 3884. Please see these related, additional R Street Institute resources, and feel free to reach out with any questions.