U.S. Rep. Panetta Supports Cannabis Decriminalization Measure
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) cosponsored a bill that would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement, or MORE, Act would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to set their own policies, Panetta's office said in a press release this month.
The bill would also allow for a reassessment of cannabis-related charges and expungement of prior offenders. It would allow for the consideration of a five percent sales tax on cannabis products to fund three grant programs related to: aiding people most negatively impacted by "the War on Drugs" through job training, mentoring and more; providing funds for small cannabis businesses owned by socioeconomically disadvantaged people; and making it easier for people impacted by "the War on Drugs" to get funding to open up a cannabis-related business, the press release said.
"The federal government has lagged behind as states like California continue to modernize how we regulate and decriminalize cannabis," Panetta said in the press release. "The MORE Act not only deschedules cannabis at the federal level, it also provides a roadmap for states to legalize in a just and equitable manner."
The MORE Act was introduced by U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in July and the bill's Senate counterpart was introduced by U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).
Panetta is one of 70 cosponsors and 29 congressmembers who voiced support for the bill after it was introduced.