House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris are introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, CNBC reports, in effort to repair “the damage done by the war on drugs.”
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or the MORE Act, would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, decriminalizing the drug and allowing each state to write its own policy. The bill would also require previous marijuana-related convictions to be expunged or re-sentenced.
The bill establishes a 5% cannabis tax to set up grants for minorities and low-income communities and would prohibit federal agencies from denying benefits to people found using marijuana and preventing immigrants from being deported for a cannabis-related conviction.
“Racially motivated enforcement of marijuana laws has disproportionately impacted communities of color,” Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “It’s past time to right this wrong nationwide and work to view marijuana use as an issue of personal choice and public health, not criminal behavior.”