DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14), the Republican Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, released the following statement on the MORE Act:
“Now is not the time for Congress to simply check a box on cannabis reform. Yet here we are, voting on more-or-less the same, deeply flawed bill that barely passed the House last Congress and died directly thereafter.
“With a President who has made clear his unwillingness to fully desechedule cannabis and a Senate Majority Leader set to roll out his own comprehensive package, no serious legislator, cannabis advocate, or industry stakeholder believes the MORE Act has any prospect of becoming law this Congress. How do I know this? They told me. I only wish they told the millions who are depending on them as well.
“This is not the political reality that any of us want, and I will continue my efforts to change it. But to do so, we must move forward with the understanding that an end to cannabis prohibition must coincide with responsible federal regulations.
“I cannot support a proposal that does not take into account, aside from the physician prescribed treatment of a minor, that cannabis is and should remain an adult product with federal safety and production regulations that ensure it is suitable for consumption. Senators Schumer, Wyden and Booker also recognize this.
“That’s why, rather than advancing a bill that further polarizes lawmakers whose consensus remains vital to progress, they have gone through exhaustive lengths to hone in on federal regulations to include in their legislation and build the bipartisan foundation necessary to pass impactful reform. Not only does the MORE Act not contribute to that foundation, it jeopardizes it.
“Having long worked to advance this issue among conservatives, I see where opportunities to build that foundation currently exist and where work to create it remains undone.
“As a Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, I remain dedicated to the swift and responsible end of cannabis prohibition and as a former prosecutor, I believe in effectively addressing the unjust consequences of the criminalization of cannabis. These goals cannot be achieved with a messaging bill.
“We must give cannabis reform the meaningful consideration it deserves so that we can pass progress that will be signed into law and improve the lives of millions. There is no more time to waste.”