The key Republican congressman who supports ending federal prohibition sent a letter to other Republicans on March 30, 2022, offering advice on the current cannabis law and stating why he intended to vote against the Democratic-led legislative measures as formulated as it is.
As the House Judiciary Committee prepares to vote on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act, a memo from the office of Rep. Dave Joyce says he persists in eager to “serve as a resource for everyone looking to talk through” cannabis political issues.
A month ago, Joyce wrote to Nadler, saying that he was “committed to abolishing national cannabis prohibition, and adopting appropriate restrictions, and addressing the injustices that have followed from over a century of marijuana criminality.”
The updated letter from Joyce’s office to GOP congressional staff clearly states that the MORE Act in its current shape is impossible from Joyce’s standpoint. Only a few technical changes have been made to the law since it was presented in 2021.
In addition, the MORE Act “would penalize individuals who have made a point to operate legitimately at their own personal cost, by laying an extra tax on legal operators to compensate for the cost of industry access for illicit operators,” according to those opposed.
According to Joyce’s office, the congressman is also concerned about the absence of a “responsible regulatory structure” following the repeal of the federal ban on marijuana.
The Common Sense Cannabis Reform Act, sponsored by Joyce and aimed at GOP lawmakers who want to discuss marijuana policy but are opposed to the MORE Act, is also included in the letter. Other aspects of the bill include federal rescheduling of cannabis and directing federal agencies to control the drug in a manner similar to how they handle alcohol.
Also on Wednesday, the House Republican Policy Committee (RPC) sent a letter to its members stating unequivocally that it opposes the legalization and regulation of all marijuana products.
As it stands, “Democrats keep mute on the negative effects of marijuana legalization and usage before the vote on the MORE Act,” emphasizing selected data on the health implications of marijuana use.
A few hours before the House Rules Committee is scheduled to begin debating a slew of GOP-sponsored amendments to the MORE Act, a letter from Joyce’s office and a statement from the House RPC have both been issued.
Repealing a nearly 500-page document explaining the benefits and drawbacks of a new round of voting on the MORE Act, the House Judiciary Committee majority and minority leaders announced the decision to bring up a vote on the proposal once more.
As a result, supporters and stakeholders are anxiously anticipating the formal presentation of a separate Senate measure being drafted by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his colleagues. Senator Schumer has stated that the Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act would be introduced to Congress by the end of April 2022.
While this was happening, on the same day that the MORE Act was declared to be brought back to the Senate floor, the Senate passed a compromise marijuana bill to endorse its research, including optimizing the registration process for researchers to study the plant and encouraging the FDA to cultivate cannabis-derived medications.