For Immediate Release
April 1, 2022
Arianna Rosales, National Immigration Project, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act by a bipartisan 220-204 majority. The MORE Act is the first bill to completely deschedule marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act and begin to address the deep harms that prohibition has caused communities. The MORE Act will provide for the expungement of past cannabis convictions and address immigration consequences for most cannabis-related activity; invest resources in Black and brown communities, which have been disproportionately impacted by prohibition; and take steps to create an equal-access marketplace that would open opportunities for immigrants to safely participate in the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry.
In response to the MORE Act's passage in the House, Sirine Shebaya, Executive Director of the National Immigration Project, said:
"For decades, the failed War on Drugs has targeted Black and brown communities and has had devastating consequences for immigrant communities. Today, we celebrate a critical first step towards addressing some of those consequences.
"While marijuana has been decriminalized in many states across the country, the continued enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws still result in approximately half a million arrests every year. Beyond the already harsh criminal consequences of marijuana convictions, immigrants are additionally punished through draconian penalties including detention, deportation, and family separation - even in states where marijuana use has been decriminalized.
"Today, the House took a monumental but long overdue step to repair the deep harms marijuana prohibition has caused our communities. As an organization composed of and representing immigrants all over the country, we celebrate this important victory, and now turn our attention to advocating alongside our partners and communities for passage of similar legislation in the Senate."
The National Immigration Project is a member of the Marijuana Justice Coalition, a broad coalition of national advocacy organizations led by the Drug Policy Alliance who have joined forces to advocate for federal marijuana reform through a racial and economic lens. The National Immigration Project has been a national leader in legal education, analysis, and technical assistance on the immigration consequences of drug-related convictions, and has advocated to ensure that noncitizens are included in marijana decriminalization efforts.
The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) is a national non-profit organization that provides technical assistance and support to community-based immigrant organizations, legal practitioners, and all advocates seeking and working to advance the rights of noncitizens. NIPNLG utilizes impact litigation, advocacy, and public education to pursue its mission. Learn more at nipnlg.org. Follow NIPNLG on social media: National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild on Facebook, @NIPNLG on Twitter and Instagram.