Schakowsky Statement on Passage of Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

December 4, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), a Senior Chief Deputy Whip, issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 by a vote of 228-164:

“Today, I was proud to vote for and help pass H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. The criminalization of marijuana and this nation’s failed ‘War on Drugs’ has devastated our communities of color. It has led to over policing, mass incarceration, and the destruction of families. This critical legislation takes steps to undo this harm. Not only does the MORE Act end the federal prohibition and criminalization of marijuana, it calls for the expungement of low-level, federal marijuana convictions. It also reinvests tax revenue in the communities most harmed by marijuana criminalization, removes the threat of deportation for immigrants with minor marijuana infractions, and allows our veterans, for the first time, to obtain medical cannabis treatments from their VA doctors. It will also help ensure that people with marijuana-related convictions can no longer be denied jobs, public housing, social benefits, and even student loans.

“Federal marijuana prohibition has long been a tool of oppression for America’s Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. I am so grateful to be part of the effort to dismantle that tool. While the MORE Act is a significant step, there is more work to be done. I will continue fighting to advance policies that help end systemic racism and create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.”