U.S. Senate Passes Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, Sends it


Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act next now that there’s a majority that will pass it in the Senate?

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Well, there’s this from Monday:

From the "joint statement" pdf (pun theirs):

“This hearing will be a bipartisan examination of the many benefits of decriminalization at the federal level, including: criminal justice reform, which will largely benefit communities of color, as well as the justice system more broadly; access for veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); and the ability for the legal cannabis industry to access financial services,” the memo says.

It lists the three main issues that will be raised in the panel:

  1. Decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level would benefit multiple communities, including veterans, potential federal employees, people of color, and individuals arrested or convicted for non-violent cannabis offenses.

  2. Reforms are needed in several sectors, including criminal justice through the expungement of non-violent cannabis convictions, access to financial services, regulatory policy, and taxation.

  3. The federal government should establish protocols to regulate cannabis as it does alcohol.

The 11-page memo provides an overview of racial disparities in cannabis enforcement, which is says “continue to persist nationwide, even though Black and white people use cannabis at roughly the same rates.”

“In many states, marijuana arrests can have life-altering consequences—parents may lose their children in court proceedings, disabled and low-income recipients of public assistance may lose healthcare, immigrants can face deportation, families can be evicted from public housing, and finding a job can be difficult or outright impossible in some cases,” it says. “Black and Brown people disproportionately face these repercussions.”

It also talks about how federal prohibition creates a barrier for military veterans who want access to cannabis treatment but can’t obtain a recommendation from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors regardless of the law in the state where they live. (Summary from here)

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