Posted: Mar 27, 2022 12:01 AM
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The days of marijuana prohibition may soon be over as the House of Representatives is prepared to vote on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act this Monday. If passed, the MORE Act will federally legalize marijuana throughout the country. Despite failed efforts to advance this bill in the past, a Democratic majority in Congress and control of the Presidency now portend a high likelihood that this Act could pass. While marijuana advocates, lobbyists, and legislators push this bill, the MORE Act’s statutory shortcomings pose an immediate and dangerous threat to the regulatory power of states and localities. If passed, the MORE Act could wipe out state and local laws prohibiting and criminalizing marijuana, leaving states and localities unable to address local concerns about marijuana issues.Due to Congress’s inartful drafting, the MORE Act threatens to entirely remove marijuana policy from public debate at the state and local level. In a recent legal publication “The New Federalism Frontier in Marijuana Legalization and Decriminalization,” New York City attorney Oliver Roberts outlines how the MORE Act could strip states, counties, and towns of the power to criminalize and penalize marijuana possession and offenses. At the center of this controversy are the constitutional doctrine of federal preemption—whereby federal laws …
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