Should we decriminalize marijuana?

• “I don’t think a majority of the Republicans will support this bill… It is even less likely that the Senate would take it up. Therefore, I would just suggest that we deal with other bills that we can get a much larger bipartisan support from.” Source: Rep. Ken Buck (Republican, Colorado, District 4)
• “[This] bill before us today fails to address the important issues contained in those memos. This includes preventing: the distribution of marijuana to minors, preventing marijuana from moving beyond states where it’s legal, preventing violence and the use of firearms in growing or distributing marijuana, preventing drugged driving and preventing marijuana revenue from funding criminal enterprises, gangs or cartels… There is effective legislation before this committee that is more comprehensive, much less bureaucratic, and which actually stands a chance of becoming law. This bill is none of those things.” Source: Rep. Doug Collins (Republican, Georgia, District 9)
• “These steps are long overdue. For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of a matter of personal choice and public health. Whatever one’s views on the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating users at the federal level is unwise and unjust… I have long believed that the criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake, and the racially disparate enforcement of marijuana laws has only compounded this mistake, with serious consequences, particularly for minority communities.” Source: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Democrat, New York, District 10)
• “[The MORE Act] is a significant step towards ending the failed war on drugs and correcting some of the harms that it has caused… The bill not only deschedules marijuana at the federal level, but it also provides a roadmap for states to legalize in a just and equitable manner. The MORE Act also provides resentencing and expungement for those with marijuana convictions and mandates the inclusion of those most impacted by the criminalization of marijuana in the newly legal marijuana industry. The ACLU is pleased to support the MORE Act and its efforts to counter the over-criminalization, over policing, and mass incarceration stemming from the war on drugs.” Source: Charlotte Resing (Policy Analyst, ACLU)
• “As more states legalize marijuana, millions of Americans with marijuana-related convictions continue to face overwhelming barriers to jobs, education, and housing… That is why we must act to remove the burden of marijuana convictions and make sure these individuals have the support needed to move forward. It is also critical that everyone — especially people of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs — has a real opportunity to participate in this growing industry. This is a matter of racial and economic justice.” Source: Sen. Kamala Harris (Democrat, California)