WASHINGTON — Friday, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted to pass H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act.
Gabbard co-led introduction of the bill last summer along with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York and others.
The bill would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, expunge pending and past convictions, and authorize a sales tax on marijuana with funds to be used for programs to help communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana’s criminalization.
“Finally. This is a historic moment that so many here and across the country have been working towards to take this step to end America’s destructive and costly war on drugs that has turned everyday Americans into criminals and torn families apart, ruining so many people’s lives,” said Gabbard.
“This legislation removes cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and frees states to regulate it as they choose, and encourages research into the medicinal qualities of this plant that we already know is changing people’s lives and saving people’s lives.
“It also applies retroactively, expunging prior convictions and records, freeing a generation of people from the shackles of this failed war on drugs,” said Gabbard.
The bill was passed by a vote of 228-164 and now goes to the Senate for consideration. Rep. Ed Case voted to strike down the bill.
“The bottom line is this vote is about freedom. It’s about freedom of choice for every American to make their own decisions for themselves without fear of the government coming and arresting them,” said Gabbard.
“I urge my colleagues to support this bill. The Senate should pass it quickly so we can send it to the president for his signature.”