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Marijuana Archives – Concerned Women for America

MORE Act Promotes Marijuana Use, Not Justice

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With a government shutdown on the horizon and coronavirus crippling communities across America, the Democrat-controlled Congress has prioritized the left’s obsession with pot use to vote on a bill removing federal controls over an exploding Big Marijuana industry.

The House passed the Marijuana Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE) Act by a vote of 228-164  under a deceptive banner of social justice. While touted as a decriminalizing measure to expunge the records of low-level offenders, the MORE Act actually dismantles federal enforcement against marijuana. This vote marks an historic surrender in the war on drug addiction. It denies the real threats of high potency marijuana to public safety, mental health, and our most vulnerable populations, including America’s youth.

In a total policy reversal, the MORE Act would remove marijuana as a controlled substance, legalizing and commercializing its use, manufacture, and sale, without health-related safeguards, advertising guardrails, or measures to crack down on the thriving illicit marijuana market. It would fully legalize unlimited potency marijuana products, including vapes and edibles appealing to youth, and allow any form of advertising, including on television during the Super bowl.

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) signaled our strong opposition to this bill and our intent to score against any member of Congress voting in favor on our member scorecard.

In a letter to House members, CWALAC CEO and President Penny Nance warned, “Repackaging marijuana as a social justice issue in the MORE Act will not solve the problem of lucrative, greedy financial markets and reckless commercial marketing of marijuana. It will not change the harmful, increasingly potent nature of this drug as a danger to public health. Any federal de-scheduling of a psychotic drug removes the ability to enforce against its use, becoming a greater threat to public safety. This includes the U.S. Department of Transportation requirements for public transit workers.”

Here’s more about why the MORE Act is an irresponsible and reckless policy:

  • Fails to include common-sense safety measures like requiring a warning label on the health risks posed by marijuana, limitations on marijuana product potency, or restrictions on locating marijuana businesses within 1000 feet of schools, daycares, private kindergartens, public parks, or recreational facilities.
  • Retroactively decriminalizes marijuana, requiring Federal courts to expunge prior “nonviolent” marijuana convictions and conduct re-sentencing hearings, potentially leading to the early release of drug traffickers.
  • Funnels taxpayer money to the marijuana industry, making federal grants and loans available for marijuana-related businesses and service providers.

CWALAC believes America must stand against drug addiction and the promotion of drug use in our culture. The marketing of the MORE Act as a social justice measure is disingenuous and redirects attention away from prevention and treatment. If Congress enacts the MORE Act, America can expect more of the damaging effects of our drug-induced culture.

House Passes Disastrous Marijuana Banking Bill in Midst of Vaping Crisis

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On Tuesday, a House Oversight Committee held a subcommittee hearing on vaping, and on Wednesday a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee also held a hearing on vaping. The CDC’s Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat in the House Oversight Subcommittee hearing said, “The epidemic is moving faster than our data gathering; we really are losing people in the meantime.” Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health announced the tenth U.S. death from a vaping-related illness.

We don’t know a lot about what these vaping-related illnesses have in common, but we do know that several of these cases are THC related, including an Oregon case where the THC was purchased from a state-legal, state-regulated, state-tested dispensary. Vaping is a growing mechanism for marijuana consumption. The DEA reports that 25% of high school students who used marijuana in 2017 vaped it.

In spite of this crisis and Congress’ acknowledgement that this is an issue, Wednesday the House passed H.R. 1595, the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 (SAFE Act). The SAFE Act would legitimize the marijuana industry financially and give marijuana businesses access to the federal banking system. It would also grant investors access to this billion-dollar industry without incorporating any regulations or guidance for this growing industry. If enacted, this bill will enable a massive flow of financial investment in this illegal industry that is currently under national scrutiny with absolutely ZERO regard for public health. The FDA is working hard to find a solution to the vaping crisis; the SAFE Act would exacerbate it.

Banks are prohibited from being involved in activities involving illegally obtained funds, also known as money laundering. Because of marijuana’s federally illegal status, even if states legalize marijuana, banks are still committing a federal crime by financially entangling themselves with marijuana businesses and are still liable to federal prosecution. If the SAFE Act is enacted, marijuana will still be illegal, but banks will now have the approval of the government to participate in money laundering. This would also be the first time the United States banking industry was opened to Schedule I drug operations and would set an alarming and dangerous precedent of granting banking access to criminal activity. This bill sidesteps common sense and merely gives banks permission to engage in marijuana-related activities. Put another way, the SAFE Act gives banks the green light to facilitate federal crime.

321 Representatives voted for this. Click here to find out if your representative voted to give the marijuana industry access to the U.S. financial system. If he/she did, tell your representative you are disappointed with his/her vote.

This bill now goes to the Senate, and although we don’t anticipate this exact bill coming to the floor for a vote, we do think there will be a vote giving the marijuana industry access to the U.S. financial system at some point. Please call your Senators and tell them to oppose the SAFE Banking Act and any other measure that would give the marijuana industry access to the financial system.