[Congressional Record Volume 168, Number 58 (Friday, April 1, 2022)]
[House]
[Pages H4078-H4110]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




         MARIJUANA OPPORTUNITY REINVESTMENT AND EXPUNGEMENT ACT

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 1017, I call up 
the bill (H.R. 3617) to decriminalize and deschedule cannabis, to 
provide for reinvestment in certain persons adversely impacted by the 
War on Drugs, to provide for expungement of certain cannabis offenses, 
and for other purposes, and ask for its immediate consideration in the 
House.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 1017, in lieu 
of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the 
Committee on the Judiciary printed in the bill, an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 
117-37, modified by the amendment printed in part A of House Report 
117-285, is adopted and the bill, as amended, is considered read.
  The text of the bill, as amended, is as follows:

[[Page H4079]]

  


                               H.R. 3617

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Marijuana Opportunity 
     Reinvestment and Expungement Act'' or the ``MORE Act''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       The Congress finds as follows:
       (1) The communities that have been most harmed by cannabis 
     prohibition are benefiting the least from the legal marijuana 
     marketplace.
       (2) A legacy of racial and ethnic injustices, compounded by 
     the disproportionate collateral consequences of 80 years of 
     cannabis prohibition enforcement, now limits participation in 
     the industry.
       (3) 37 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, 
     and the U.S. Virgin Islands have adopted laws allowing legal 
     access to cannabis, and 15 States, the District of Columbia, 
     the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam 
     have adopted laws legalizing cannabis for adult recreational 
     use.
       (4) A total of 47 States have reformed their laws 
     pertaining to cannabis despite the Schedule I status of 
     marijuana and its Federal criminalization.
       (5) Legal cannabis sales totaled $20,000,000,000 in 2020 
     and are projected to reach $40,500,000,000 by 2025.
       (6) According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 
     enforcing cannabis prohibition laws costs taxpayers 
     approximately $3.6 billion a year.
       (7) The continued enforcement of cannabis prohibition laws 
     results in over 600,000 arrests annually, disproportionately 
     impacting people of color who are almost 4 times more likely 
     to be arrested for cannabis possession than their White 
     counterparts, despite equal rates of use across populations.
       (8) People of color have been historically targeted by 
     discriminatory sentencing practices resulting in Black men 
     receiving drug sentences that are 13.1 percent longer than 
     sentences imposed for White men and Latinos being nearly 6.5 
     times more likely to receive a Federal sentence for cannabis 
     possession than non-Hispanic Whites.
       (9) In 2013, simple cannabis possession was the fourth most 
     common cause of deportation for any offense and the most 
     common cause of deportation for drug law violations.
       (10) Fewer than one-fifth of cannabis business owners 
     identify as minorities and only approximately 4 percent are 
     black.
       (11) Applicants for cannabis licenses are limited by 
     numerous laws, regulations, and exorbitant permit 
     applications, licensing fees, and costs in these States, 
     which can require more than $700,000.
       (12) Historically disproportionate arrest and conviction 
     rates make it particularly difficult for people of color to 
     enter the legal cannabis marketplace, as most States bar 
     these individuals from participating.
       (13) Federal law severely limits access to loans and 
     capital for cannabis businesses, disproportionately impacting 
     minority small business owners.
       (14) Some States and municipalities have taken proactive 
     steps to mitigate inequalities in the legal cannabis 
     marketplace and ensure equal participation in the industry.

     SEC. 3. DECRIMINALIZATION OF CANNABIS.

       (a) Cannabis Removed From Schedule of Controlled 
     Substances.--
       (1) Removal in statute.--Subsection (c) of schedule I of 
     section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 
     812) is amended--
       (A) by striking ``(10) Marihuana.''; and
       (B) by striking ``(17) Tetrahydrocannabinols, except for 
     tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp (as defined under section 297A 
     of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946).''.
       (2) Removal from schedule.--Not later than 180 days after 
     the date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General 
     shall finalize a rulemaking under section 201(a)(2) removing 
     marihuana and tetrahydrocannabinols from the schedules of 
     controlled substances. For the purposes of the Controlled 
     Substances Act, marihuana and tetrahydrocannabinols shall 
     each be deemed to be a drug or other substance that does not 
     meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule. A 
     rulemaking under this paragraph shall be considered to have 
     taken effect as of the date of enactment of this Act for 
     purposes of any offense committed, case pending, conviction 
     entered, and, in the case of a juvenile, any offense 
     committed, case pending, and adjudication of juvenile 
     delinquency entered before, on, or after the date of 
     enactment of this Act.
       (b) Conforming Amendments to Controlled Substances Act.--
     The Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is 
     amended--
       (1) in section 102(44) (21 U.S.C. 802(44)), by striking 
     ``marihuana,'';
       (2) in section 401(b) (21 U.S.C. 841(b))--
       (A) in paragraph (1)--
       (i) in subparagraph (A)--

       (I) in clause (vi), by inserting ``or'' after the 
     semicolon;
       (II) by striking clause (vii); and
       (III) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

       (ii) in subparagraph (B)--

       (I) in clause (vi), by inserting ``or'' after the 
     semicolon;
       (II) by striking clause (vii); and
       (III) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

       (iii) in subparagraph (C), in the first sentence, by 
     striking ``subparagraphs (A), (B), and (D)'' and inserting 
     ``subparagraphs (A) and (B)'';
       (iv) by striking subparagraph (D);
       (v) by redesignating subparagraph (E) as subparagraph (D); 
     and
       (vi) in subparagraph (D)(i), as so redesignated, by 
     striking ``subparagraphs (C) and (D)'' and inserting 
     ``subparagraph (C)'';
       (B) by striking paragraph (4); and
       (C) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as 
     paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively;
       (3) in section 402(c)(2)(B) (21 U.S.C. 842(c)(2)(B)), by 
     striking ``, marihuana,'';
       (4) in section 403(d)(1) (21 U.S.C. 843(d)(1)), by striking 
     ``, marihuana,'';
       (5) in section 418(a) (21 U.S.C. 859(a)), by striking the 
     last sentence;
       (6) in section 419(a) (21 U.S.C. 860(a)), by striking the 
     last sentence;
       (7) in section 422(d) (21 U.S.C. 863(d))--
       (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking 
     ``marijuana,''; and
       (B) in paragraph (5), by striking ``, such as a marihuana 
     cigarette,''; and
       (8) in section 516(d) (21 U.S.C. 886(d)), by striking 
     ``section 401(b)(6)'' each place the term appears and 
     inserting ``section 401(b)(5)''.
       (c) Other Conforming Amendments.--
       (1) National forest system drug control act of 1986.--The 
     National Forest System Drug Control Act of 1986 (16 U.S.C. 
     559b et seq.) is amended--
       (A) in section 15002(a) (16 U.S.C. 559b(a)) by striking 
     ``marijuana and other'';
       (B) in section 15003(2) (16 U.S.C. 559c(2)) by striking 
     ``marijuana and other''; and
       (C) in section 15004(2) (16 U.S.C. 559d(2)) by striking 
     ``marijuana and other''.
       (2) Interception of communications.--Section 2516 of title 
     18, United States Code, is amended--
       (A) in subsection (1)(e), by striking ``marihuana,''; and
       (B) in subsection (2) by striking ``marihuana''.
       (3) FMCSA provisions.--
       (A) Conforming amendment.--Section 31301(5) of title 49, 
     United States Code, is amended by striking ``section 31306,'' 
     and inserting ``sections 31306, 31306a, and subsections (b) 
     and (c) of section 31310,''.
       (B) Definition.--Section 31306(a) of title 49, United 
     States Code, is amended--
       (i) by striking ``means any substance'' and inserting the 
     following: ``means--
       ``(A) any substance''; and
       (ii) by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; 
     and
       ``(B) any substance not covered under subparagraph (A) that 
     was a substance under such section as of December 1, 2018, 
     and specified by the Secretary of Transportation.''.
       (C) Disqualifications.--Section 31310(b) of title 49, 
     United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
     following:
       ``(3) In this subsection and subsection (c), the term 
     `controlled substance' has the meaning given such term in 
     section 31306(a).''.
       (4) FAA provisions.--Section 45101 of title 49, United 
     States Code, is amended--
       (A) by striking ``means any substance'' and inserting the 
     following: ``means--
       ``(A) any substance''; and
       (B) by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; and
       ``(B) any substance not covered under subparagraph (A) that 
     was a substance under such section as of December 1, 2018, 
     and specified by the Secretary of Transportation.''.
       (5) FRA provisions.--Section 20140(a) of title 49, United 
     States Code, is amended--
       (A) by striking ``means any substance'' and inserting the 
     following: ``means--
       ``(A) any substance''; and
       (B) by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; and
       ``(B) any substance not covered under subparagraph (A) that 
     was a substance under such section as of December 1, 2018, 
     and specified by the Secretary of Transportation.''.
       (6) FTA provisions.--Section 5331(a)(1) of title 49, United 
     States Code, is amended--
       (A) by striking ``means any substance'' and inserting the 
     following: ``means--
       ``(A) any substance''; and
       (B) by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; and
       ``(B) any substance not covered under subparagraph (A) that 
     was a substance under such section as of December 1, 2018, 
     and whose use the Secretary of Transportation decides has a 
     risk to transportation safety.''.
       (d) Retroactivity.--The amendments made by this section to 
     the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) are 
     retroactive and shall apply to any offense committed, case 
     pending, conviction entered, and, in the case of a juvenile, 
     any offense committed, case pending, or adjudication of 
     juvenile delinquency entered before, on, or after the date of 
     enactment of this Act.
       (e) Effect on Other Law.--Nothing in this subtitle shall 
     affect or modify--
       (1) the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301 
     et seq.);
       (2) section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 
     262); or
       (3) the authority of the Commissioner of Food and Drugs and 
     the Secretary of Health and Human Services--
       (A) under--
       (i) the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S. 301 
     et seq.); or
       (ii) section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (42 
     U.S.C. 262); or
       (B) to promulgate Federal regulations and guidelines that 
     relate to products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived 
     compounds under the Act described in subparagraph (A)(i) or 
     the section described in subparagraph (A)(ii).
       (f) Public Meetings.--Not later than one year after the 
     date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and 
     Human Services, acting through the Commissioner of Food and 
     Drugs, shall hold not less than one public meeting to address 
     the regulation, safety, manufacturing,

[[Page H4080]]

     product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale of products 
     containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.
       (g) Special Rule for Federal Employee Testing.--Section 503 
     of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1987 (5 U.S.C. 7301 
     note) is amended by adding at the end the following:
       ``(h) Marijuana.--
       ``(1) Continued testing.--Notwithstanding the Marijuana 
     Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act and the 
     amendments made thereby, the Secretary of Health and Human 
     Services may continue to include marijuana for purposes of 
     drug testing of Federal employees subject to this section, 
     Executive Order 12564, or other applicable Federal laws and 
     orders.
       ``(2) Definition.--The term `marijuana' has the meaning 
     given to the term `marihuana' in section 102 of the 
     Controlled Substances Act (21 6 U.S.C. 802) on the day before 
     the date of enactment of the Marijuana Opportunity 
     Reinvestment and Expungement Act.''.
       (h) Special Rule for Certain Regulations.--
       (1) In general.--The amendments made by this section may 
     not be construed to abridge the authority of the Secretary of 
     Transportation, or the Secretary of the department in which 
     the Coast Guard is operating, to regulate and screen for the 
     use of a controlled substance.
       (2) Controlled substance defined.--In this subsection, the 
     term ``controlled substance'' means--
       (A) any substance covered under section 102 of the 
     Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) on the day before 
     the date of enactment of this Act; and
       (B) any substance not covered under subparagraph (A) that 
     was a substance covered under section 102 of the Controlled 
     Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) on December 1, 2018, and 
     specified by the Secretary of Transportation.

     SEC. 4. DEMOGRAPHIC DATA OF CANNABIS BUSINESS OWNERS AND 
                   EMPLOYEES.

       (a) In General.--The Bureau of Labor Statistics shall 
     regularly compile, maintain, and make public data on the 
     demographics of--
       (1) individuals who are business owners in the cannabis 
     industry; and
       (2) individuals who are employed in the cannabis industry.
       (b) Demographic Data.--The data collected under subsection 
     (a) shall include data regarding--
       (1) age;
       (2) certifications and licenses;
       (3) disability status;
       (4) educational attainment;
       (5) family and marital status;
       (6) nativity;
       (7) race and Hispanic ethnicity;
       (8) school enrollment;
       (9) veteran status; and
       (10) sex.
       (c) Confidentiality.--The name, address, and other 
     identifying information of individuals employed in the 
     cannabis industry shall be kept confidential by the Bureau 
     and not be made available to the public.
       (d) Definitions.--In this section:
       (1) Cannabis.--The term ``cannabis'' means either marijuana 
     or cannabis as defined under the State law authorizing the 
     sale or use of cannabis in which the individual or entity is 
     located.
       (2) Cannabis industry.--The term ``cannabis industry'' 
     means an individual or entity that is licensed or permitted 
     under a State or local law to engage in commercial cannabis-
     related activity.
       (3) Owner.--The term ``owner'' means an individual or 
     entity that is defined as an owner under the State or local 
     law where the individual or business is licensed or 
     permitted.

     SEC. 5. CREATION OF OPPORTUNITY TRUST FUND AND IMPOSITION OF 
                   TAXES WITH RESPECT TO CANNABIS PRODUCTS.

       (a) Establishment of Opportunity Trust Fund.--Subchapter A 
     of chapter 98 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended 
     by adding at the end the following new section:

     ``SEC. 9512. ESTABLISHMENT OF OPPORTUNITY TRUST FUND.

       ``(a) Creation of Trust Fund.--There is established in the 
     Treasury of the United States a trust fund to be known as the 
     `Opportunity Trust Fund' (referred to in this section as the 
     `Trust Fund'), consisting of such amounts as may be 
     appropriated or credited to such fund as provided in this 
     section or section 9602(b).
       ``(b) Transfers to Trust Fund.--There are hereby 
     appropriated to the Trust Fund amounts equivalent to the net 
     revenues received in the Treasury from the taxes imposed 
     under chapter 56.
       ``(c) Expenditures.--Amounts in the Trust Fund shall be 
     available, without further appropriation, only as follows:
       ``(1) 50 percent to the Attorney General to carry out 
     section 3052(a) of part OO of the Omnibus Crime Control and 
     Safe Streets Act of 1968.
       ``(2) 10 percent to the Attorney General to carry out 
     section 3052(b) of part OO of the Omnibus Crime Control and 
     Safe Streets Act of 1968.
       ``(3) 20 percent to the Administrator of the Small Business 
     Administration to carry out section 6(b)(1) of the Marijuana 
     Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act.
       ``(4) 20 percent to the Administrator of the Small Business 
     Administration to carry out section 6(b)(2) of the Marijuana 
     Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act.''.
       (b) Cannabis Revenue and Regulation Act.--Subtitle E of the 
     Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end 
     the following new chapter:

                    ``CHAPTER 56--CANNABIS PRODUCTS

                ``subchapter a. tax on cannabis products

                    ``subchapter b. occupational tax

                    ``subchapter c. bond and permits

                       ``subchapter d. operations

                       ``subchapter e. penalties

                ``Subchapter A--Tax on Cannabis Products

``Sec. 5901. Imposition of tax.
``Sec. 5902. Definitions.
``Sec. 5903. Liability and method of payment.
``Sec. 5904. Exemption from tax; transfers in bond.
``Sec. 5905. Credit, refund, or drawback of tax.

     ``SEC. 5901. IMPOSITION OF TAX.

       ``(a) Imposition of Tax.--There is hereby imposed on any 
     cannabis product produced in or imported into the United 
     States a tax equal to--
       ``(1) for any such product removed during the first 5 
     calendar years ending after the date on which this chapter 
     becomes effective, the applicable percentage of such 
     product's removal price, and
       ``(2) for any product removed during any calendar year 
     after the calendar years described in paragraph (1), the 
     applicable equivalent amount.
       ``(b) Applicable Percentage.--For purposes of subsection 
     (a)(1), the applicable percentage shall be determined as 
     follows:
       ``(1) For any cannabis product removed during the first 2 
     calendar years ending after the date on which this chapter 
     becomes effective, 5 percent.
       ``(2) For any cannabis product removed during the calendar 
     year after the last calendar year to which paragraph (1) 
     applies, 6 percent.
       ``(3) For any cannabis product removed during the calendar 
     year after the calendar year to which paragraph (2) applies, 
     7 percent.
       ``(4) For any cannabis product removed during the calendar 
     year after the calendar year to which paragraph (3) applies, 
     8 percent.
       ``(c) Applicable Equivalent Amount.--
       ``(1) In general.--For purposes of subsection (a)(2), the 
     term `applicable equivalent amount' means, with respect to 
     any cannabis product removed during any calendar year, an 
     amount equal to--
       ``(A) in the case of any cannabis product not described in 
     subparagraph (B), the product of the applicable rate per 
     ounce multiplied by the number of ounces of such product (and 
     a proportionate tax at the like rate on all fractional parts 
     of an ounce of such product), and
       ``(B) in the case of any THC-measurable cannabis product, 
     the product of the applicable rate per gram multiplied by the 
     number of grams of tetrahydrocannabinol in such product (and 
     a proportionate tax at the like rate on all fractional parts 
     of a gram of tetrahydrocannabinol in such product).
       ``(2) Applicable rates.--
       ``(A) In general.--For purposes of paragraph (1)(A), the 
     term `applicable rate per ounce' means, with respect to any 
     cannabis product removed during any calendar year, 8 percent 
     of the prevailing sales price of cannabis flowers sold in the 
     United States during the 12-month period ending one calendar 
     quarter before such calendar year, expressed on a per ounce 
     basis, as determined by the Secretary.
       ``(B) THC-measurable cannabis products.--For purposes of 
     paragraph (1)(B), the term `applicable rate per gram' means, 
     with respect to any cannabis product removed during any 
     calendar year, 8 percent of the prevailing sales price of 
     tetrahydrocannabinol sold in the United States during the 12-
     month period ending one calendar quarter before such calendar 
     year, expressed on a per gram basis, as determined by the 
     Secretary.
       ``(d) Time of Attachment on Cannabis Products.--The tax 
     under this section shall attach to any cannabis product as 
     soon as such product is in existence as such, whether it be 
     subsequently separated or transferred into any other 
     substance, either in the process of original production or by 
     any subsequent process.

     ``SEC. 5902. DEFINITIONS.

       ``(a) Definitions Related to Cannabis Products.--For 
     purposes of this chapter--
       ``(1) Cannabis product.--
       ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), 
     the term `cannabis product' means any article which contains 
     (or consists of) cannabis.
       ``(B) Exceptions.--The term `cannabis product' shall not 
     include an FDA-approved article or industrial hemp.
       ``(C) FDA-approved article.--The term `FDA-approved 
     article' means any article if the producer or importer 
     thereof demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary of 
     Health and Human Services that such article is--
       ``(i) a drug--

       ``(I) that is approved under section 505 of the Federal 
     Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or licensed under section 351 of 
     the Public Health Service Act, or
       ``(II) for which an investigational use exemption has been 
     authorized under section 505(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, 
     and Cosmetic Act or under section 351(a) of the Public Health 
     Service Act, or

       ``(ii) a combination product (as described in section 
     503(g) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act), the 
     constituent parts of which were approved or cleared under 
     section 505, 510(k), or 515 of such Act.
       ``(D) Industrial hemp.--The term `industrial hemp' means 
     the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, 
     whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol 
     concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight 
     basis.
       ``(2) THC-measurable cannabis product.--The term `THC-
     measurable cannabis product' means any cannabis product--
       ``(A) with respect to which the Secretary has made a 
     determination that the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol in such 
     product can be measured with a high degree of accuracy, or
       ``(B) which is not cannabis flower and the concentration of 
     tetrahydrocannabinol in which

[[Page H4081]]

     is significantly higher than the average such concentration 
     in cannabis flower.
       ``(3) Cannabis.--The term `cannabis' has the meaning given 
     such term under section 102(16) of the Controlled Substances 
     Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)).
       ``(b) Definitions Related to Cannabis Enterprises.--For 
     purposes of this chapter--
       ``(1) Cannabis enterprise.--The term `cannabis enterprise' 
     means a producer, importer, or export warehouse proprietor.
       ``(2) Producer.--
       ``(A) In general.--The term `producer' means any person who 
     plants, cultivates, harvests, grows, manufactures, produces, 
     compounds, converts, processes, prepares, or packages any 
     cannabis product.
       ``(B) Personal use exception.--Subject to regulation 
     prescribed by the Secretary, the term `producer' shall not 
     include any individual otherwise described in subparagraph 
     (A) if the only cannabis product described in such 
     subparagraph with respect to such individual is for personal 
     or family use and not for sale.
       ``(3) Importer.--The term `importer' means any person who--
       ``(A) is in the United States and to whom non-tax-paid 
     cannabis products, produced in a foreign country or a 
     possession of the United States, are shipped or consigned,
       ``(B) removes cannabis products for sale or consumption in 
     the United States from a customs bonded warehouse, or
       ``(C) smuggles or otherwise unlawfully brings any cannabis 
     product into the United States.
       ``(4) Export warehouse proprietor.--
       ``(A) In general.--The term `export warehouse proprietor' 
     means any person who operates an export warehouse.
       ``(B) Export warehouse.--The term `export warehouse' means 
     a bonded internal revenue warehouse for the storage of 
     cannabis products, upon which the internal revenue tax has 
     not been paid--
       ``(i) for subsequent shipment to a foreign country or a 
     possession of the United States, or
       ``(ii) for consumption beyond the jurisdiction of the 
     internal revenue laws of the United States.
       ``(5) Cannabis production facility.--The term `cannabis 
     production facility' means an establishment which is 
     qualified under subchapter C to perform any operation for 
     which such qualification is required under such subchapter.
       ``(c) Other Definitions.--For purposes of this chapter--
       ``(1) Produce.--The term `produce' includes any activity 
     described in subsection (b)(2)(A).
       ``(2) Removal; remove.--The terms `removal' or `remove' 
     means--
       ``(A) the transfer of cannabis products from the premises 
     of a producer (or the transfer of such products from the 
     bonded premises of a producer to a non-bonded premises of 
     such producer),
       ``(B) release of such products from customs custody, or
       ``(C) smuggling or other unlawful importation of such 
     products into the United States.
       ``(3) Removal price.--The term `removal price' means--
       ``(A) except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the 
     price for which the cannabis product is sold in the sale 
     which occurs in connection with the removal of such product,
       ``(B) in the case of any such sale which is described in 
     section 5903(c), the price determined under such section, and
       ``(C) if there is no sale which occurs in connection with 
     such removal, the price which would be determined under 
     section 5903(c) if such product were sold at a price which 
     cannot be determined.

     ``SEC. 5903. LIABILITY AND METHOD OF PAYMENT.

       ``(a) Liability for Tax.--
       ``(1) Original liability.--The producer or importer of any 
     cannabis product shall be liable for the taxes imposed 
     thereon by section 5901.
       ``(2) Transfer of liability.--
       ``(A) In general.--When cannabis products are transferred, 
     without payment of tax, pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of 
     section 5904--
       ``(i) except as provided in clause (ii), the transferee 
     shall become liable for the tax upon receipt by the 
     transferee of such articles, and the transferor shall 
     thereupon be relieved of their liability for such tax, and
       ``(ii) in the case of cannabis products which are released 
     in bond from customs custody for transfer to the bonded 
     premises of a producer, the transferee shall become liable 
     for the tax on such articles upon release from customs 
     custody, and the importer shall thereupon be relieved of 
     their liability for such tax.
       ``(B) Returned to bond.--All provisions of this chapter 
     applicable to cannabis products in bond shall be applicable 
     to such articles returned to bond upon withdrawal from the 
     market or returned to bond after previous removal for a tax-
     exempt purpose.
       ``(b) Method of Payment of Tax.--
       ``(1) In general.--
       ``(A) Taxes paid on basis of return.--The taxes imposed by 
     section 5901 shall be paid on the basis of return. The 
     Secretary shall, by regulations, prescribe the period or the 
     event to be covered by such return and the information to be 
     furnished on such return.
       ``(B) Application to transferees.--In the case of any 
     transfer to which subsection (a)(2)(A) applies, the tax under 
     section 5901 on the transferee shall (if not otherwise 
     relieved by reason of a subsequent transfer to which such 
     subsection applies) be imposed with respect to the removal of 
     the cannabis product from the bonded premises of the 
     transferee.
       ``(C) Postponement.--Any postponement under this subsection 
     of the payment of taxes determined at the time of removal 
     shall be conditioned upon the filing of such additional 
     bonds, and upon compliance with such requirements, as the 
     Secretary may prescribe for the protection of the revenue. 
     The Secretary may, by regulations, require payment of tax on 
     the basis of a return prior to removal of the cannabis 
     products where a person defaults in the postponed payment of 
     tax on the basis of a return under this subsection or 
     regulations prescribed thereunder.
       ``(D) Administration and penalties.--All administrative and 
     penalty provisions of this title, insofar as applicable, 
     shall apply to any tax imposed by section 5901.
       ``(2) Time for payment of taxes.--
       ``(A) In general.--Except as otherwise provided in this 
     paragraph, in the case of taxes on cannabis products removed 
     during any semimonthly period under bond for deferred payment 
     of tax, the last day for payment of such taxes shall be the 
     14th day after the last day of such semimonthly period.
       ``(B) Imported articles.--In the case of cannabis products 
     which are imported into the United States, the following 
     provisions shall apply:
       ``(i) In general.--The last day for payment of tax shall be 
     the 14th day after the last day of the semimonthly period 
     during which the article is entered into the customs 
     territory of the United States.
       ``(ii) Special rule for entry of warehousing.--Except as 
     provided in clause (iv), in the case of an entry for 
     warehousing, the last day for payment of tax shall not be 
     later than the 14th day after the last day of the semimonthly 
     period during which the article is removed from the first 
     such warehouse.
       ``(iii) Foreign trade zones.--Except as provided in clause 
     (iv) and in regulations prescribed by the Secretary, articles 
     brought into a foreign trade zone shall, notwithstanding any 
     other provision of law, be treated for purposes of this 
     subsection as if such zone were a single customs warehouse.
       ``(iv) Exception for articles destined for export.--Clauses 
     (ii) and (iii) shall not apply to any article which is shown 
     to the satisfaction of the Secretary to be destined for 
     export.
       ``(C) Cannabis products brought into the united states from 
     puerto rico.--In the case of cannabis products which are 
     brought into the United States from Puerto Rico and subject 
     to tax under section 7652, the last day for payment of tax 
     shall be the 14th day after the last day of the semimonthly 
     period during which the article is brought into the United 
     States.
       ``(D) Special rule where due date falls on saturday, 
     sunday, or holiday.--Notwithstanding section 7503, if, but 
     for this subparagraph, the due date under this paragraph 
     would fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday (as 
     defined in section 7503), such due date shall be the 
     immediately preceding day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or 
     such a holiday.
       ``(E) Special rule for unlawfully produced cannabis 
     products.--In the case of any cannabis products produced in 
     the United States at any place other than the premises of a 
     producer that has filed the bond and obtained the permit 
     required under this chapter, tax shall be due and payable 
     immediately upon production.
       ``(3) Payment by electronic fund transfer.--Any person who 
     in any 12-month period, ending December 31, was liable for a 
     gross amount equal to or exceeding $5,000,000 in taxes 
     imposed on cannabis products by section 5901 (or section 
     7652) shall pay such taxes during the succeeding calendar 
     year by electronic fund transfer (as defined in section 
     5061(e)(2)) to a Federal Reserve Bank. Rules similar to the 
     rules of section 5061(e)(3) shall apply to the $5,000,000 
     amount specified in the preceding sentence.
       ``(c) Determination of Price.--
       ``(1) Constructive sale price.--
       ``(A) In general.--If an article is sold directly to 
     consumers, sold on consignment, or sold (otherwise than 
     through an arm's length transaction) at less than the fair 
     market price, or if the price for which the article sold 
     cannot be determined, the tax under section 5901(a) shall be 
     computed on the price for which such articles are sold, in 
     the ordinary course of trade, by producers thereof, as 
     determined by the Secretary.
       ``(B) Arm's length.--
       ``(i) In general.--For purposes of this section, a sale is 
     considered to be made under circumstances otherwise than at 
     arm's length if--

       ``(I) the parties are members of the same controlled group, 
     whether or not such control is actually exercised to 
     influence the sale price,
       ``(II) the parties are members of a family, as defined in 
     section 267(c)(4), or
       ``(III) the sale is made pursuant to special arrangements 
     between a producer and a purchaser.

       ``(ii) Controlled groups.--

       ``(I) In general.--The term `controlled group' has the 
     meaning given to such term by subsection (a) of section 1563, 
     except that `more than 50 percent' shall be substituted for 
     `at least 80 percent' each place it appears in such 
     subsection.
       ``(II) Controlled groups which include nonincorporated 
     persons.--Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary, 
     principles similar to the principles of subclause (I) shall 
     apply to a group of persons under common control where one or 
     more of such persons is not a corporation.

       ``(2) Containers, packing and transportation charges.--In 
     determining, for the purposes of this chapter, the price for 
     which an article is sold, there shall be included any charge 
     for coverings and containers of whatever nature, and any 
     charge incident to placing the article in condition packed 
     ready for shipment, but there shall be excluded the amount of 
     tax imposed by this chapter, whether or not stated as a 
     separate charge. A transportation, delivery, insurance, 
     installation, or other charge (not required by the preceding 
     sentence to be included) shall be excluded from the price 
     only if the amount thereof is established to the satisfaction 
     of the Secretary in accordance with regulations.

[[Page H4082]]

       ``(3) Determination of applicable equivalent amounts.--
     Paragraphs (1) and (2) shall apply for purposes of section 
     5901(c) only to the extent that the Secretary determines 
     appropriate.
       ``(d) Partial Payments and Installment Accounts.--
       ``(1) Partial payments.--In the case of--
       ``(A) a contract for the sale of an article wherein it is 
     provided that the price shall be paid by installments and 
     title to the article sold does not pass until a future date 
     notwithstanding partial payment by installments,
       ``(B) a conditional sale, or
       ``(C) a chattel mortgage arrangement wherein it is provided 
     that the sales price shall be paid in installments,
     there shall be paid upon each payment with respect to the 
     article a percentage of such payment equal to the rate of tax 
     in effect on the date such payment is due.
       ``(2) Sales of installment accounts.--If installment 
     accounts, with respect to payments on which tax is being 
     computed as provided in paragraph (1), are sold or otherwise 
     disposed of, then paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect 
     to any subsequent payments on such accounts (other than 
     subsequent payments on returned accounts with respect to 
     which credit or refund is allowable by reason of section 
     6416(b)(5)), but instead--
       ``(A) there shall be paid an amount equal to the difference 
     between--
       ``(i) the tax previously paid on the payments on such 
     installment accounts, and
       ``(ii) the total tax which would be payable if such 
     installment accounts had not been sold or otherwise disposed 
     of (computed as provided in paragraph (1)), except that
       ``(B) if any such sale is pursuant to the order of, or 
     subject to the approval of, a court of competent jurisdiction 
     in a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding, the amount computed 
     under subparagraph (A) shall not exceed the sum of the 
     amounts computed by multiplying--
       ``(i) the proportionate share of the amount for which such 
     accounts are sold which is allocable to each unpaid 
     installment payment, by
       ``(ii) the rate of tax under this chapter in effect on the 
     date such unpaid installment payment is or was due.
     The sum of the amounts payable under this subsection in 
     respect of the sale of any article shall not exceed the total 
     tax.

     ``SEC. 5904. EXEMPTION FROM TAX; TRANSFERS IN BOND.

       ``(a) Exemption From Tax.--Cannabis products on which the 
     internal revenue tax has not been paid or determined may, 
     subject to such regulations as the Secretary shall prescribe, 
     be withdrawn from the bonded premises of any producer in 
     approved containers free of tax and not for resale for use--
       ``(1) exclusively in scientific research by a laboratory,
       ``(2) by a proprietor of a cannabis production facility in 
     research, development, or testing (other than consumer 
     testing or other market analysis) of processes, systems, 
     materials, or equipment, relating to cannabis or cannabis 
     operations, under such limitations and conditions as to 
     quantities, use, and accountability as the Secretary may by 
     regulations require for the protection of the revenue, or
       ``(3) by the United States or any governmental agency 
     thereof, any State, any political subdivision of a State, or 
     the District of Columbia, for nonconsumption purposes.
       ``(b) Cannabis Products Transferred or Removed in Bond From 
     Domestic Factories and Export Warehouses.--
       ``(1) In general.--Subject to such regulations and under 
     such bonds as the Secretary shall prescribe, a producer or 
     export warehouse proprietor may transfer cannabis products, 
     without payment of tax, to the bonded premises of another 
     producer or export warehouse proprietor, or remove such 
     articles, without payment of tax, for shipment to a foreign 
     country or a possession of the United States, or for 
     consumption beyond the jurisdiction of the internal revenue 
     laws of the United States.
       ``(2) Labeling.--Cannabis products may not be transferred 
     or removed under this subsection unless such products bear 
     such marks, labels, or notices as the Secretary shall by 
     regulations prescribe.
       ``(c) Cannabis Products Released in Bond From Customs 
     Custody.--Cannabis products imported or brought into the 
     United States may be released from customs custody, without 
     payment of tax, for delivery to a producer or export 
     warehouse proprietor if such articles are not put up in 
     packages, in accordance with such regulations and under such 
     bond as the Secretary shall prescribe.
       ``(d) Cannabis Products Exported and Returned.--Cannabis 
     products classifiable under item 9801.00.10 of the Harmonized 
     Tariff Schedule of the United States (relating to duty on 
     certain articles previously exported and returned), as in 
     effect on the date of the enactment of the Marijuana 
     Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, may be released 
     from customs custody, without payment of that part of the 
     duty attributable to the internal revenue tax for delivery to 
     the original producer of such cannabis products or to the 
     export warehouse proprietor authorized by such producer to 
     receive such products, in accordance with such regulations 
     and under such bond as the Secretary shall prescribe. Upon 
     such release such products shall be subject to this chapter 
     as if they had not been exported or otherwise removed from 
     internal revenue bond.

     ``SEC. 5905. CREDIT, REFUND, OR DRAWBACK OF TAX.

       ``(a) Credit or Refund.--
       ``(1) In general.--Credit or refund of any tax imposed by 
     this chapter or section 7652 shall be allowed or made 
     (without interest) to the cannabis enterprise on proof 
     satisfactory to the Secretary that the claimant cannabis 
     enterprise has paid the tax on--
       ``(A) cannabis products withdrawn from the market by the 
     claimant, or
       ``(B) such products lost (otherwise than by theft) or 
     destroyed, by fire, casualty, or act of God, while in the 
     possession or ownership of the claimant.
       ``(2) Cannabis products lost or destroyed in bond.--
       ``(A) Extent of loss allowance.--No tax shall be collected 
     in respect of cannabis products lost or destroyed while in 
     bond, except that such tax shall be collected--
       ``(i) in the case of loss by theft, unless the Secretary 
     finds that the theft occurred without connivance, collusion, 
     fraud, or negligence on the part of the proprietor of the 
     cannabis production facility, owner, consignor, consignee, 
     bailee, or carrier, or their employees or agents,
       ``(ii) in the case of voluntary destruction, unless such 
     destruction is carried out as provided in paragraph (3), and
       ``(iii) in the case of an unexplained shortage of cannabis 
     products.
       ``(B) Proof of loss.--In any case in which cannabis 
     products are lost or destroyed, whether by theft or 
     otherwise, the Secretary may require the proprietor of a 
     cannabis production facility or other person liable for the 
     tax to file a claim for relief from the tax and submit proof 
     as to the cause of such loss. In every case where it appears 
     that the loss was by theft, the burden shall be upon the 
     proprietor of the cannabis production facility or other 
     person responsible for the tax under section 5901 to 
     establish to the satisfaction of the Secretary that such loss 
     did not occur as the result of connivance, collusion, fraud, 
     or negligence on the part of the proprietor of the cannabis 
     production facility, owner, consignor, consignee, bailee, or 
     carrier, or their employees or agents.
       ``(C) Refund of tax.--In any case where the tax would not 
     be collectible by virtue of subparagraph (A), but such tax 
     has been paid, the Secretary shall refund such tax.
       ``(D) Limitations.--Except as provided in subparagraph (E), 
     no tax shall be abated, remitted, credited, or refunded under 
     this paragraph where the loss occurred after the tax was 
     determined. The abatement, remission, credit, or refund of 
     taxes provided for by subparagraphs (A) and (C) in the case 
     of loss of cannabis products by theft shall only be allowed 
     to the extent that the claimant is not indemnified against or 
     recompensed in respect of the tax for such loss.
       ``(E) Applicability.--The provisions of this paragraph 
     shall extend to and apply in respect of cannabis products 
     lost after the tax was determined and before completion of 
     the physical removal of the cannabis products from the bonded 
     premises.
       ``(3) Voluntary destruction.--The proprietor of a cannabis 
     production facility or other persons liable for the tax 
     imposed by this chapter or by section 7652 with respect to 
     any cannabis product in bond may voluntarily destroy such 
     products, but only if such destruction is under such 
     supervision and under such regulations as the Secretary may 
     prescribe.
       ``(4) Limitation.--Any claim for credit or refund of tax 
     under this subsection shall be filed within 6 months after 
     the date of the withdrawal from the market, loss, or 
     destruction of the products to which the claim relates, and 
     shall be in such form and contain such information as the 
     Secretary shall by regulations prescribe.
       ``(b) Drawback of Tax.--There shall be an allowance of 
     drawback of tax paid on cannabis products, when shipped from 
     the United States, in accordance with such regulations and 
     upon the filing of such bond as the Secretary shall 
     prescribe.

                    ``Subchapter B--Occupational Tax

``Sec. 5911. Imposition and rate of tax.
``Sec. 5912. Payment of tax.
``Sec. 5913. Provisions relating to liability for occupational taxes.
``Sec. 5914. Application to State laws.

     ``SEC. 5911. IMPOSITION AND RATE OF TAX.

       ``(a) In General.--Any person engaged in business as a 
     producer or an export warehouse proprietor shall pay a tax of 
     $1,000 per year (referred to in this subchapter as an 
     `occupational tax') in respect of each premises at which such 
     business is carried on.
       ``(b) Penalty for Failure To Register.--Any person engaged 
     in business as a producer or an export warehouse proprietor 
     who willfully fails to pay the occupation tax shall be fined 
     not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or 
     both, for each such offense.

     ``SEC. 5912. PAYMENT OF TAX.

       ``(a) Condition Precedent to Carrying on Business.--No 
     person shall be engaged in or carry on any trade or business 
     subject to the occupational tax until such person has paid 
     such tax.
       ``(b) Computation.--
       ``(1) In general.--The occupational tax shall be imposed--
       ``(A) as of on the first day of July in each year, or
       ``(B) on commencing any trade or business on which such tax 
     is imposed.
       ``(2) Period.--In the case of a tax imposed under 
     subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), the occupational tax shall 
     be reckoned for 1 year, and in the case of subparagraph (B) 
     of such paragraph, it shall be reckoned proportionately, from 
     the first day of the month in which the liability to such tax 
     commenced, to and including the 30th day of June following.
       ``(c) Method of Payment.--
       ``(1) Payment by return.--The occupational tax shall be 
     paid on the basis of a return under such regulations as the 
     Secretary shall prescribe.
       ``(2) Stamp denoting payment of tax.--After receiving a 
     properly executed return and remittance of any occupational 
     tax, the Secretary

[[Page H4083]]

     shall issue to the taxpayer an appropriate stamp as a receipt 
     denoting payment of the tax. This paragraph shall not apply 
     in the case of a return covering liability for a past period.

     ``SEC. 5913. PROVISIONS RELATING TO LIABILITY FOR 
                   OCCUPATIONAL TAXES.

       ``(a) Partners.--Any number of persons doing business in 
     partnership at any one place shall be required to pay a 
     single occupational tax.
       ``(b) Different Businesses of Same Ownership and 
     Location.--Whenever more than one of the pursuits or 
     occupations described in this subchapter are carried on in 
     the same place by the same person at the same time, except as 
     otherwise provided in this subchapter, the occupational tax 
     shall be paid for each according to the rates severally 
     prescribed.
       ``(c) Businesses in More Than One Location.--
       ``(1) Liability for tax.--The payment of the occupational 
     tax shall not exempt from an additional occupational tax the 
     person carrying on a trade or business in any other place 
     than that stated in the records of the Internal Revenue 
     Service.
       ``(2) Storage.--Nothing contained in paragraph (1) shall 
     require imposition of an occupational tax for the storage of 
     cannabis products at a location other than the place where 
     such products are sold or offered for sale.
       ``(3) Place.--
       ``(A) In general.--For purposes of this section, the term 
     `place' means the entire office, plant or area of the 
     business in any one location under the same proprietorship.
       ``(B) Divisions.--For purposes of this paragraph, any 
     passageways, streets, highways, rail crossings, waterways, or 
     partitions dividing the premises shall not be deemed 
     sufficient separation to require an additional occupational 
     tax, if the various divisions are otherwise contiguous.
       ``(d) Death or Change of Location.--
       ``(1) In general.--In addition to the person who has paid 
     the occupational tax for the carrying on of any business at 
     any place, any person described in paragraph (2) may secure 
     the right to carry on, without incurring any additional 
     occupational tax, the same business at the same place for the 
     remainder of the taxable period for which the occupational 
     tax was paid.
       ``(2) Eligible persons.--The persons described in this 
     paragraph are the following:
       ``(A) The surviving spouse or child, or executor or 
     administrator or other legal representative, of a deceased 
     taxpayer.
       ``(B) A husband or wife succeeding to the business of his 
     or her living spouse.
       ``(C) A receiver or trustee in bankruptcy, or an assignee 
     for benefit of creditors.
       ``(D) The partner or partners remaining after death or 
     withdrawal of a member of a partnership.
       ``(3) Change of location.--When any person moves to any 
     place other than the place for which occupational tax was 
     paid for the carrying on of any business, such person may 
     secure the right to carry on, without incurring additional 
     occupational tax, the same business at the new location for 
     the remainder of the taxable period for which the 
     occupational tax was paid. To secure the right to carry on 
     the business without incurring additional occupational tax, 
     the successor, or the person relocating their business, must 
     register the succession or relocation with the Secretary in 
     accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
       ``(e) Federal Agencies or Instrumentalities.--Any tax 
     imposed by this subchapter shall apply to any agency or 
     instrumentality of the United States unless such agency or 
     instrumentality is granted by statute a specific exemption 
     from such tax.

     ``SEC. 5914. APPLICATION TO STATE LAWS.

       ``The payment of any tax imposed by this subchapter for 
     carrying on any trade or business shall not be held to--
       ``(1) exempt any person from any penalty or punishment 
     provided by the laws of any State for carrying on such trade 
     or business within such State, or in any manner to authorize 
     the commencement or continuance of such trade or business 
     contrary to the laws of such State or in places prohibited by 
     municipal law, or
       ``(2) prohibit any State from placing a duty or tax on the 
     same trade or business, for State or other purposes.

                    ``Subchapter C--Bond and Permits

``Sec. 5921. Establishment and bond.
``Sec. 5922. Application for permit.
``Sec. 5923. Permit.

     ``SEC. 5921. ESTABLISHMENT AND BOND.

       ``(a) Prohibition on Production Outside of Bonded Cannabis 
     Production Facility.--
       ``(1) In general.--Except as authorized by the Secretary or 
     on the bonded premises of a cannabis production facility duly 
     authorized to produce cannabis products according to law, no 
     cannabis product may planted, cultivated, harvested, grown, 
     manufactured, produced, compounded, converted, processed, 
     prepared, or packaged in any building or on any premises.
       ``(2) Authorized producers only.--No person other than a 
     producer which has filed the bond required under subsection 
     (b) and received a permit described in section 5923 may 
     produce any cannabis product.
       ``(3) Personal use exception.--This subsection shall not 
     apply with respect the activities of an individual who is not 
     treated as a producer by reason of section 5902(b)(2)(B).
       ``(b) Bond.--
       ``(1) When required.--Every person, before commencing 
     business as a producer or an export warehouse proprietor, 
     shall file such bond, conditioned upon compliance with this 
     chapter and regulations issued thereunder, in such form, 
     amount, and manner as the Secretary shall by regulation 
     prescribe. A new or additional bond may be required whenever 
     the Secretary considers such action necessary for the 
     protection of the revenue.
       ``(2) Approval or disapproval.--No person shall engage in 
     such business until he receives notice of approval of such 
     bond. A bond may be disapproved, upon notice to the principal 
     on the bond, if the Secretary determines that the bond is not 
     adequate to protect the revenue.
       ``(3) Cancellation.--Any bond filed hereunder may be 
     canceled, upon notice to the principal on the bond, whenever 
     the Secretary determines that the bond no longer adequately 
     protects the revenue.

     ``SEC. 5922. APPLICATION FOR PERMIT.

       ``(a) In General.--Every person, before commencing business 
     as a cannabis enterprise, and at such other time as the 
     Secretary shall by regulation prescribe, shall make 
     application for the permit provided for in section 5923. The 
     application shall be in such form as the Secretary shall 
     prescribe and shall set forth, truthfully and accurately, the 
     information called for on the form. Such application may be 
     rejected and the permit denied if the Secretary, after notice 
     and opportunity for hearing, finds that--
       ``(1) the premises on which it is proposed to conduct the 
     cannabis enterprise will not be adequate to protect the 
     revenue after commencing operations, or
       ``(2) such person (including, in the case of a corporation, 
     any officer, director, or principal stockholder and, in the 
     case of a partnership, any partner) has failed to disclose 
     any material information required or made any materially 
     false statement in the application therefor.

     ``SEC. 5923. PERMIT.

       ``(a) Issuance.--A person shall not engage in business as a 
     cannabis enterprise without a permit to engage in such 
     business. Such permit, conditioned upon compliance with this 
     chapter and regulations issued thereunder, shall be issued in 
     such form and in such manner as the Secretary shall by 
     regulation prescribe. A new permit may be required at such 
     other time as the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe.
       ``(b) Suspension or Revocation.--
       ``(1) Show cause hearing.--If the Secretary has reason to 
     believe that any person holding a permit--
       ``(A) has not in good faith complied with this chapter, or 
     with any other provision of this title involving intent to 
     defraud,
       ``(B) has violated the conditions of such permit,
       ``(C) has failed to disclose any material information 
     required or made any material false statement in the 
     application for such permit, or
       ``(D) has failed to maintain their premises in such manner 
     as to protect the revenue,
     the Secretary shall issue an order, stating the facts 
     charged, citing such person to show cause why their permit 
     should not be suspended or revoked.
       ``(2) Action following hearing.--If, after hearing, the 
     Secretary finds that such person has not shown cause why 
     their permit should not be suspended or revoked, such permit 
     shall be suspended for such period as the Secretary deems 
     proper or shall be revoked.
       ``(c) Information Reporting.--The Secretary may require--
       ``(1) information reporting by any person issued a permit 
     under this section, and
       ``(2) information reporting by such other persons as the 
     Secretary deems necessary to carry out this chapter.
       ``(d) Inspection or Disclosure of Information.--For rules 
     relating to inspection and disclosure of returns and return 
     information, see section 6103(o).

                       ``Subchapter D--Operations

``Sec. 5931. Inventories, reports, and records.
``Sec. 5932. Packaging and labeling.
``Sec. 5933. Purchase, receipt, possession, or sale of cannabis 
              products after removal.
``Sec. 5934. Restrictions relating to marks, labels, notices, and 
              packages.
``Sec. 5935. Restriction on importation of previously exported cannabis 
              products.

     ``SEC. 5931. INVENTORIES, REPORTS, AND RECORDS.

       ``Every cannabis enterprise shall--
       ``(1) make a true and accurate inventory at the time of 
     commencing business, at the time of concluding business, and 
     at such other times, in such manner and form, and to include 
     such items, as the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe, 
     with such inventories to be subject to verification by any 
     internal revenue officer,
       ``(2) make reports containing such information, in such 
     form, at such times, and for such periods as the Secretary 
     shall by regulation prescribe, and
       ``(3) keep such records in such manner as the Secretary 
     shall by regulation prescribe, with such records to be 
     available for inspection by any internal revenue officer 
     during business hours.

     ``SEC. 5932. PACKAGING AND LABELING.

       ``(a) Packages.--All cannabis products shall, before 
     removal, be put up in such packages as the Secretary shall by 
     regulation prescribe.
       ``(b) Marks, Labels, and Notices.--Every package of 
     cannabis products shall, before removal, bear the marks, 
     labels, and notices if any, that the Secretary by regulation 
     prescribes.
       ``(c) Lottery Features.--No certificate, coupon, or other 
     device purporting to be or to represent a ticket, chance, 
     share, or an interest in, or dependent on, the event of a 
     lottery shall be contained in, attached to, or stamped, 
     marked, written, or printed on any package of cannabis 
     products.
       ``(d) Indecent or Immoral Material Prohibited.--No indecent 
     or immoral picture, print, or representation shall be 
     contained in, attached to, or stamped, marked, written, or 
     printed on any package of cannabis products.

[[Page H4084]]

       ``(e) Exceptions.--Subject to regulations prescribed by the 
     Secretary, cannabis products may be exempted from subsections 
     (a) and (b) if such products are--
       ``(1) for experimental purposes, or
       ``(2) transferred to the bonded premises of another 
     producer or export warehouse proprietor or released in bond 
     from customs custody for delivery to a producer.

     ``SEC. 5933. PURCHASE, RECEIPT, POSSESSION, OR SALE OF 
                   CANNABIS PRODUCTS AFTER REMOVAL.

       ``(a) Restriction.--No person shall--
       ``(1) with intent to defraud the United States, purchase, 
     receive, possess, offer for sale, or sell or otherwise 
     dispose of, after removal, any cannabis products--
       ``(A) upon which the tax has not been paid or determined in 
     the manner and at the time prescribed by this chapter or 
     regulations thereunder, or
       ``(B) which, after removal without payment of tax pursuant 
     to section 5904(a), have been diverted from the applicable 
     purpose or use specified in that section,
       ``(2) with intent to defraud the United States, purchase, 
     receive, possess, offer for sale, or sell or otherwise 
     dispose of, after removal, any cannabis products which are 
     not put up in packages as required under section 5932 or 
     which are put up in packages not bearing the marks, labels, 
     and notices, as required under such section, or
       ``(3) otherwise than with intent to defraud the United 
     States, purchase, receive, possess, offer for sale, or sell 
     or otherwise dispose of, after removal, any cannabis products 
     which are not put up in packages as required under section 
     5932 or which are put up in packages not bearing the marks, 
     labels, and notices, as required under such section.
       ``(b) Exception.--Paragraph (3) of subsection (a) shall not 
     prevent the sale or delivery of cannabis products directly to 
     consumers from proper packages, nor apply to such articles 
     when so sold or delivered.
       ``(c) Liability to Tax.--Any person who possesses cannabis 
     products in violation of paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection 
     (a) shall be liable for a tax equal to the tax on such 
     articles.

     ``SEC. 5934. RESTRICTIONS RELATING TO MARKS, LABELS, NOTICES, 
                   AND PACKAGES.

       ``No person shall, with intent to defraud the United 
     States, destroy, obliterate, or detach any mark, label, or 
     notice prescribed or authorized, by this chapter or 
     regulations thereunder, to appear on, or be affixed to, any 
     package of cannabis products before such package is emptied.

     ``SEC. 5935. RESTRICTION ON IMPORTATION OF PREVIOUSLY 
                   EXPORTED CANNABIS PRODUCTS.

       ``(a) Export Labeled Cannabis Products.--
       ``(1) In general.--Cannabis products produced in the United 
     States and labeled for exportation under this chapter--
       ``(A) may be transferred to or removed from the premises of 
     a producer or an export warehouse proprietor only if such 
     articles are being transferred or removed without tax in 
     accordance with section 5904,
       ``(B) may be imported or brought into the United States, 
     after their exportation, only if such articles either are 
     eligible to be released from customs custody with the partial 
     duty exemption provided in section 5904(d) or are returned to 
     the original producer of such article as provided in section 
     5904(c), and
       ``(C) may not be sold or held for sale for domestic 
     consumption in the United States unless such articles are 
     removed from their export packaging and repackaged by the 
     original producer into new packaging that does not contain an 
     export label.
       ``(2) Alterations by persons other than original 
     producer.--This section shall apply to articles labeled for 
     export even if the packaging or the appearance of such 
     packaging to the consumer of such articles has been modified 
     or altered by a person other than the original producer so as 
     to remove or conceal or attempt to remove or conceal 
     (including by the placement of a sticker over) any export 
     label.
       ``(3) Exports include shipments to puerto rico.--For 
     purposes of this section, section 5904(d), section 5941, and 
     such other provisions as the Secretary may specify by 
     regulations, references to exportation shall be treated as 
     including a reference to shipment to the Commonwealth of 
     Puerto Rico.
       ``(b) Export Label.--For purposes of this section, an 
     article is labeled for export or contains an export label if 
     it bears the mark, label, or notice required under section 
     5904(b).

                       ``Subchapter E--Penalties

``Sec. 5941. Civil penalties.
``Sec. 5942. Criminal penalties.

     ``SEC. 5941. CIVIL PENALTIES.

       ``(a) Omitting Things Required or Doing Things Forbidden.--
     Whoever willfully omits, neglects, or refuses to comply with 
     any duty imposed upon them by this chapter, or to do, or 
     cause to be done, any of the things required by this chapter, 
     or does anything prohibited by this chapter, shall in 
     addition to any other penalty provided in this title, be 
     liable to a penalty of $10,000, to be recovered, with costs 
     of suit, in a civil action, except where a penalty under 
     subsection (b) or (c) or under section 6651 or 6653 or part 
     II of subchapter A of chapter 68 may be collected from such 
     person by assessment.
       ``(b) Failure To Pay Tax.--Whoever fails to pay any tax 
     imposed by this chapter at the time prescribed by law or 
     regulations, shall, in addition to any other penalty provided 
     in this title, be liable to a penalty of 10 percent of the 
     tax due but unpaid.
       ``(c) Sale of Cannabis or Cannabis Products for Export.--
       ``(1) Every person who sells, relands, or receives within 
     the jurisdiction of the United States any cannabis products 
     which have been labeled or shipped for exportation under this 
     chapter,
       ``(2) every person who sells or receives such relanded 
     cannabis products, and
       ``(3) every person who aids or abets in such selling, 
     relanding, or receiving,
     shall, in addition to the tax and any other penalty provided 
     in this title, be liable for a penalty equal to the greater 
     of $10,000 or 10 times the amount of the tax imposed by this 
     chapter. All cannabis products relanded within the 
     jurisdiction of the United States shall be forfeited to the 
     United States and destroyed. All vessels, vehicles, and 
     aircraft used in such relanding or in removing such cannabis 
     products from the place where relanded, shall be forfeited to 
     the United States.
       ``(d) Applicability of Section 6665.--The penalties imposed 
     by subsections (b) and (c) shall be assessed, collected, and 
     paid in the same manner as taxes, as provided in section 
     6665(a).
       ``(e) Cross References.--For penalty for failure to make 
     deposits or for overstatement of deposits, see section 6656.

     ``SEC. 5942. CRIMINAL PENALTIES.

       ``(a) Fraudulent Offenses.--Whoever, with intent to defraud 
     the United States--
       ``(1) engages in business as a cannabis enterprise without 
     filing the application and obtaining the permit where 
     required by this chapter or regulations thereunder,
       ``(2) fails to keep or make any record, return, report, or 
     inventory, or keeps or makes any false or fraudulent record, 
     return, report, or inventory, required by this chapter or 
     regulations thereunder,
       ``(3) refuses to pay any tax imposed by this chapter, or 
     attempts in any manner to evade or defeat the tax or the 
     payment thereof,
       ``(4) sells or otherwise transfers, contrary to this 
     chapter or regulations thereunder, any cannabis products 
     subject to tax under this chapter, or
       ``(5) purchases, receives, or possesses, with intent to 
     redistribute or resell, any cannabis product--
       ``(A) upon which the tax has not been paid or determined in 
     the manner and at the time prescribed by this chapter or 
     regulations thereunder, or
       ``(B) which, without payment of tax pursuant to section 
     5904, have been diverted from the applicable purpose or use 
     specified in that section,
     shall, for each such offense, be fined not more than $10,000, 
     or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
       ``(b) Liability to Tax.--Any person who possesses cannabis 
     products in violation of subsection (a) shall be liable for a 
     tax equal to the tax on such articles.''.
       (c) Study.--Not later than 2 years after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, and every 5 years thereafter, the 
     Secretary of the Treasury, or the Secretary's delegate, 
     shall--
       (1) conduct a study concerning the characteristics of the 
     cannabis industry, including the number of persons operating 
     cannabis enterprises at each level of such industry, the 
     volume of sales, the amount of tax collected each year, and 
     the areas of evasion, and
       (2) submit to Congress recommendations to improve the 
     regulation of the industry and the administration of the 
     related tax.
       (d) Annual Reports Regarding Determination of Applicable 
     Rates.--Not later than 6 months before the beginning of each 
     calendar year to which section 5901(a)(2) of the Internal 
     Revenue Code of 1986 (as added by this section) applies, the 
     Secretary of the Treasury, or the Secretary's delegate, shall 
     make publicly available a detailed description of the 
     methodology which the Secretary anticipates using to 
     determine the applicable rate per ounce and the applicable 
     rate per gram which will apply for such calendar year under 
     section 5901(c)(2) of such Code.
       (e) Conforming Amendments.--
       (1) Section 6103(o)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 
     1986 is amended by striking ``and firearms'' and inserting 
     ``firearms, and cannabis products''.
       (2) The table of chapters for subtitle E of such Code is 
     amended by adding at the end the following new item:

                   ``Chapter 56. Cannabis Products''.

       (3) The table of sections for subchapter A of chapter 98 of 
     such Code is amended by adding at the end the following new 
     item:

``Sec. 9512. Establishment of Opportunity Trust Fund.''.
       (f) Effective Date.--
       (1) In general.--Except as otherwise provided in this 
     subsection, the amendments made by this section shall apply 
     to removals, and applications for permits under section 5922 
     of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (as added by subsection 
     (b)), after 180 days after the date of the enactment of this 
     Act.
       (2) Establishment of opportunity trust fund.--The amendment 
     made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date of the 
     enactment of this Act.

     SEC. 6. OPPORTUNITY TRUST FUND PROGRAMS.

       (a) Cannabis Justice Office; Community Reinvestment Grant 
     Program.--
       (1) Cannabis justice office.--Part A of title I of the 
     Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 
     10101 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 109 the 
     following:

     ``SEC. 110. CANNABIS JUSTICE OFFICE.

       ``(a) Establishment.--There is established within the 
     Office of Justice Programs a Cannabis Justice Office.
       ``(b) Director.--The Cannabis Justice Office shall be 
     headed by a Director who shall be appointed by the Assistant 
     Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. The 
     Director shall report to the Assistant Attorney General for 
     the Office of Justice Programs. The Director

[[Page H4085]]

     shall award grants and may enter into compacts, cooperative 
     agreements, and contracts on behalf of the Cannabis Justice 
     Office. The Director may not engage in any employment other 
     than that of serving as the Director, nor may the Director 
     hold any office in, or act in any capacity for, any 
     organization, agency, or institution with which the Office 
     makes any contract or other arrangement.
       ``(c) Employees.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Director shall employ as many full-
     time employees as are needed to carry out the duties and 
     functions of the Cannabis Justice Office under subsection 
     (d). Such employees shall be exclusively assigned to the 
     Cannabis Justice Office.
       ``(2) Initial hires.--Not later than 6 months after the 
     date of enactment of this section, the Director shall--
       ``(A) hire no less than one-third of the total number of 
     employees of the Cannabis Justice Office; and
       ``(B) no more than one-half of the employees assigned to 
     the Cannabis Justice Office by term appointment that may 
     after 2 years be converted to career appointment.
       ``(3) Legal counsel.--At least one employee hired for the 
     Cannabis Justice Office shall serve as legal counsel to the 
     Director and shall provide counsel to the Cannabis Justice 
     Office.
       ``(d) Duties and Functions.--The Cannabis Justice Office is 
     authorized to--
       ``(1) administer the Community Reinvestment Grant Program; 
     and
       ``(2) perform such other functions as the Assistant 
     Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs may 
     delegate, that are consistent with the statutory obligations 
     of this section.''.
       (2) Community reinvestment grant program.--Title I of the 
     Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 
     et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

            ``PART PP--COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT GRANT PROGRAM

     ``SEC. 3056. AUTHORIZATION.

       ``(a) In General.--The Director of the Cannabis Justice 
     Office shall establish and carry out a grant program, known 
     as the `Community Reinvestment Grant Program', to provide 
     eligible entities with funds to administer services for 
     individuals adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, 
     including--
       ``(1) job training;
       ``(2) reentry services;
       ``(3) legal aid for civil and criminal cases, including 
     expungement of cannabis convictions;
       ``(4) literacy programs;
       ``(5) youth recreation or mentoring programs; and
       ``(6) health education programs.
       ``(b) Substance Use Disorder Services.--The Director, in 
     consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, 
     shall provide eligible entities with funds to administer 
     substance use disorder services for individuals adversely 
     impacted by the War on Drugs or connect patients with 
     substance use disorder services. Also eligible for such 
     services are individuals who have been arrested for or 
     convicted of the sale, possession, use, manufacture, or 
     cultivation of a controlled substance other than cannabis 
     (except for a conviction involving distribution to a minor).

     ``SEC. 3057. FUNDING FROM OPPORTUNITY TRUST FUND.

       ``The Director shall carry out the program under this part 
     using funds made available under section 9512(c)(1) and (2) 
     of the Internal Revenue Code.

     ``SEC. 3058. DEFINITIONS.

       ``In this part:
       ``(1) The term `cannabis conviction' means a conviction, or 
     adjudication of juvenile delinquency, for a cannabis offense 
     (as such term is defined in section 13 of the Marijuana 
     Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act).
       ``(2) The term `eligible entity' means a nonprofit 
     organization, as defined in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal 
     Revenue Code, that is representative of a community or a 
     significant segment of a community with experience in 
     providing relevant services to individuals adversely impacted 
     by the War on Drugs in that community.
       ``(3) The term `individuals adversely impacted by the War 
     on Drugs' has the meaning given that term in section 6 of the 
     Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act.''.
       (b) Cannabis Restorative Opportunity Program; Equitable 
     Licensing Grant Program.--
       (1) Cannabis restorative opportunity program.--The 
     Administrator of the Small Business Administration shall 
     establish and carry out a program, to be known as the 
     ``Cannabis Restorative Opportunity Program'', to provide 
     loans and technical assistance under section 7(m) of the 
     Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(m)) to assist small 
     business concerns owned and controlled by socially and 
     economically disadvantaged individuals that operate in 
     eligible States or localities.
       (2) Equitable licensing grant program.--The Administrator 
     of the Small Business Administration shall establish and 
     carry out a grant program, to be known as the ``Equitable 
     Licensing Grant Program'', to provide any eligible State or 
     locality funds to develop and implement equitable cannabis 
     licensing programs that minimize barriers to cannabis 
     licensing and employment for individuals adversely impacted 
     by the War on Drugs, provided that each grantee includes in 
     its cannabis licensing program at least four of the following 
     elements:
       (A) A waiver of cannabis license application fees for 
     individuals who report an income below 250 percent of the 
     Federal Poverty Level for at least 5 of the past 10 years and 
     who are first-time applicants for a cannabis license.
       (B) A prohibition on the denial of a cannabis license based 
     on a conviction for a cannabis offense that took place prior 
     to State legalization of cannabis or the date of enactment of 
     this Act, as appropriate.
       (C) A prohibition on restrictions for licensing relating to 
     criminal convictions except with respect to a criminal 
     conviction related to owning and operating a business.
       (D) A prohibition on cannabis license holders engaging in 
     suspicionless cannabis drug testing of their prospective or 
     current employees, except with respect to drug testing for 
     safety-sensitive positions required under part 40 of title 
     49, Code of Federal Regulations.
       (E) The establishment of a cannabis licensing board that is 
     reflective of the racial, ethnic, economic, and gender 
     composition of the eligible State or locality, to serve as an 
     oversight body of the equitable licensing program.
       (3) Definitions.--In this subsection:
       (A) Eligible state or locality.--The term ``eligible State 
     or locality'' means a State or locality that has taken steps 
     to--
       (i) create an automatic process, at no cost to the 
     individual, for the expungement, destruction, or sealing of 
     criminal records for cannabis offenses; and
       (ii) eliminate violations or other penalties for persons 
     under parole, probation, pre-trial, or other State or local 
     criminal supervision for a cannabis offense.
       (B) Individual adversely impacted by the war on drugs.--The 
     term ``individual adversely impacted by the War on Drugs'' 
     means an individual--
       (i) who reports an income below 250 percent of the Federal 
     Poverty Level for at least 5 of the past 10 years; and
       (ii) who has been arrested for or convicted of the sale, 
     possession, use, manufacture, or cultivation of cannabis 
     (except for a conviction involving distribution to a minor), 
     or whose parent, sibling, spouse, or child has been arrested 
     for or convicted of such an offense.
       (C) Small business concern owned and controlled by socially 
     and economically disadvantaged individuals.--The term ``small 
     business concern owned and controlled by socially and 
     economically disadvantaged individuals'' has the meaning 
     given in section 8(d)(3)(C) of the Small Business Act (15 
     U.S.C. 637(d)(3)(C)).
       (D) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the several 
     States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, any territory 
     or possession of the United States, and any Indian Tribe (as 
     defined in section 201 of Public Law 90-294 (25 U.S.C. 1301) 
     (commonly known as the ``Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968'')).
       (c) Study on Programs.--
       (1) GAO study.--The Comptroller General of the United 
     States, in consultation with the Administrator of the Small 
     Business Administration, shall conduct an annual study on the 
     individuals and entities receiving assistance under the 
     Cannabis Restorative Opportunity and Equitable Licensing 
     Programs. This study shall include the types of assistance by 
     state, and a description of the efforts by the Small Business 
     Administration to increase access to capital for cannabis-
     related small business concerns owned and controlled by 
     socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, 
     individuals adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, as well 
     as the racial, ethnic, economic and gender composition of the 
     eligible State or locality.
       (2) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall submit a report on the results of the study 
     conducted under paragraph (1) to--
       (A) the Committee on Small Business of the House of 
     Representatives;
       (B) the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship of 
     the Senate;
       (C) the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of 
     Representatives; and
       (D) the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate.

     SEC. 7. AVAILABILITY OF SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 
                   PROGRAMS AND SERVICES TO CANNABIS-RELATED 
                   LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES AND SERVICE PROVIDERS.

       (a) Definitions Relating to Cannabis-Related Legitimate 
     Businesses and Service Providers.--Section 3 of the Small 
     Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632) is amended by adding at the end 
     the following new subsection:
       ``(gg) Cannabis-Related Legitimate Businesses and Service 
     Providers.--In this Act:
       ``(1) Cannabis.--The term `cannabis'--
       ``(A) means--
       ``(i) all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether 
     growing or not;
       ``(ii) the seeds thereof;
       ``(iii) the resin extracted from any part of such plant; 
     and
       ``(iv) every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, 
     mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin; 
     and
       ``(B) does not include--
       ``(i) hemp, as defined in section 297A of the Agricultural 
     Marketing Act of 1946;
       ``(ii) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from 
     such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, 
     any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, 
     or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin 
     extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized 
     seed of such plant which is incapable of germination; or
       ``(iii) any drug product approved under section 505 of the 
     Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or biological product 
     licensed under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.
       ``(2) Cannabis-related legitimate business.--The term 
     `cannabis-related legitimate business' means a manufacturer, 
     producer, or any person or company that is a small business 
     concern and that--
       ``(A) engages in any activity described in subparagraph (B) 
     pursuant to a law established by a State or a political 
     subdivision of a State, as

[[Page H4086]]

     determined by such State or political subdivision; and
       ``(B) participates in any business or organized activity 
     that involves handling cannabis or cannabis products, 
     including cultivating, producing, manufacturing, selling, 
     transporting, displaying, dispensing, distributing, or 
     purchasing cannabis or cannabis products.
       ``(3) Service provider.--The term `service provider'--
       ``(A) means a business, organization, or other person 
     that--
       ``(i) sells goods or services to a cannabis-related 
     legitimate business; or
       ``(ii) provides any business services, including the sale 
     or lease of real or any other property, legal or other 
     licensed services, or any other ancillary service, relating 
     to cannabis; and
       ``(B) does not include a business, organization, or other 
     person that participates in any business or organized 
     activity that involves handling cannabis or cannabis 
     products, including cultivating, producing, manufacturing, 
     selling, transporting, displaying, dispensing, distributing, 
     or purchasing cannabis or cannabis products.''.
       (b) Small Business Development Centers.--Section 21(c) of 
     the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 648(c)) is amended by 
     adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(9) Services for cannabis-related legitimate businesses 
     and service providers.--A small business development center 
     may not decline to provide services to an otherwise eligible 
     small business concern under this section solely because such 
     concern is a cannabis-related legitimate business or service 
     provider.''.
       (c) Women's Business Centers.--Section 29 of the Small 
     Business Act (15 U.S.C. 656) is amended by adding at the end 
     the following new subsection:
       ``(p) Services for Cannabis-Related Legitimate Businesses 
     and Service Providers.--A women's business center may not 
     decline to provide services to an otherwise eligible small 
     business concern under this section solely because such 
     concern is a cannabis-related legitimate business or service 
     provider.''.
       (d) Score.--Section 8(b)(1)(B) of the Small Business Act 
     (15 U.S.C. 637(b)(1)(B)) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following new sentence: ``The head of the SCORE program 
     established under this subparagraph may not decline to 
     provide services to an otherwise eligible small business 
     concern solely because such concern is a cannabis-related 
     legitimate business or service provider.''.
       (e) Veteran Business Outreach Centers.--Section 32 of the 
     Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 657b) is amended by adding at 
     the end the following new subsection:
       ``(h) Services for Cannabis-Related Legitimate Businesses 
     and Service Providers.--A Veteran Business Outreach Center 
     may not decline to provide services to an otherwise eligible 
     small business concern under this section solely because such 
     concern is a cannabis-related legitimate business or service 
     provider.''.
       (f) Section 7(a) Loans.--Section 7(a) of the Small Business 
     Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following new paragraph:
       ``(38) Loans to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and 
     service providers.--The Administrator may not decline to 
     provide a guarantee for a loan under this subsection, and a 
     lender may not decline to make a loan under this subsection, 
     to an otherwise eligible small business concern solely 
     because such concern is a cannabis-related legitimate 
     business or service provider.''.
       (g) Disaster Loans.--Section 7(b) of the Small Business Act 
     (15 U.S.C. 636(b)) is amended by inserting after paragraph 
     (15) the following new paragraph:
       ``(16) Assistance to cannabis-related legitimate businesses 
     and service providers.--The Administrator may not decline to 
     provide assistance under this subsection to an otherwise 
     eligible small business concern solely because such concern 
     is a cannabis-related legitimate business or service 
     provider.''.
       (h) Microloans.--Section 7(m) of the Small Business Act (15 
     U.S.C. 636(m)) is amended by adding at the end the following 
     new paragraph:
       ``(14) Assistance to cannabis-related legitimate businesses 
     and service providers.--The Administrator may not decline to 
     make a loan or a grant under this subsection, and an eligible 
     intermediary may not decline to provide assistance under this 
     subsection to an otherwise eligible borrower, eligible 
     intermediary, or eligible nonprofit entity (as applicable) 
     solely because such borrower, intermediary, or nonprofit 
     entity is a cannabis-related legitimate business or service 
     provider.''.
       (i) Small Business Investment Company Debentures to Finance 
     Cannabis-Related Legitimate Businesses and Service 
     Providers.--Part A of title III of the Small Business 
     Investment Act of 1958 (15 U.S.C. 681 et seq.) is amended by 
     adding at the end the following new section:

     ``SEC. 321. DEBENTURES TO FINANCE CANNABIS-RELATED LEGITIMATE 
                   BUSINESSES AND SERVICE PROVIDERS.

       ``(a) Guarantees.--The Administrator may not decline to 
     purchase or guarantee a debenture made under this title to an 
     otherwise eligible small business investment company solely 
     because such small business investment company provides 
     financing to an entity that is a cannabis-related legitimate 
     business or service provider (as defined in section 7(a)(38) 
     of the Small Business Act).
       ``(b) Other Assistance.--A small business investment 
     company may not decline to provide assistance under this 
     title to an otherwise eligible small business concern solely 
     because such small business concern is a cannabis-related 
     legitimate business or service provider (as defined in 
     section 7(a)(38) of the Small Business Act).''.
       (j) State or Local Development Company Loans.--Title V of 
     the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 (15 U.S.C. 695 et 
     seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new 
     section:

     ``SEC. 511. LOANS TO FINANCE CANNABIS-RELATED LEGITIMATE 
                   BUSINESSES AND SERVICE PROVIDERS.

       ``(a) Loans and Loan Guarantees.--The Administrator may not 
     decline to make or provide a guarantee for a loan under this 
     title to an otherwise eligible qualified State or local 
     development company solely because such qualified State or 
     local development company provides financing to an entity 
     that is a cannabis-related legitimate business or service 
     provider (as defined in section 7(a)(38) of the Small 
     Business Act).
       ``(b) Other Assistance.--A qualified State or local 
     development company may not decline to provide assistance 
     under this title to an otherwise eligible small business 
     concern solely because such small business concern is a 
     cannabis-related legitimate business or service provider (as 
     defined in section 7(a)(38) of the Small Business Act).''.

     SEC. 8. NO DISCRIMINATION IN THE PROVISION OF A FEDERAL 
                   PUBLIC BENEFIT ON THE BASIS OF CANNABIS.

       (a) In General.--No person may be denied any Federal public 
     benefit (as such term is defined in section 401(c) of the 
     Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation 
     Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1611(c))) on the basis of any use or 
     possession of cannabis, or on the basis of a conviction or 
     adjudication of juvenile delinquency for a cannabis offense, 
     by that person.
       (b) Security Clearances.--Federal agencies may not use past 
     or present cannabis or marijuana use as criteria for 
     granting, denying, or rescinding a security clearance.

     SEC. 9. NO ADVERSE EFFECT FOR PURPOSES OF THE IMMIGRATION 
                   LAWS.

       (a) In General.--For purposes of the immigration laws (as 
     such term is defined in section 101 of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act), cannabis may not be considered a controlled 
     substance, and an alien may not be denied any benefit or 
     protection under the immigration laws based on any event, 
     including conduct, a finding, an admission, addiction or 
     abuse, an arrest, a juvenile adjudication, or a conviction, 
     relating to the possession or use of cannabis that is no 
     longer prohibited pursuant to this Act or an amendment made 
     by this Act, regardless of whether the event occurred before, 
     on, or after the effective date of this Act.
       (b) Cannabis Defined.--The term ``cannabis''--
       (1) means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., 
     whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin 
     extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, 
     manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of 
     such plant, its seeds or resin; and
       (2) does not include--
       (A) hemp, as defined in section 297A of the Agricultural 
     Marketing Act of 1946;
       (B) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from 
     such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, 
     any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, 
     or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin 
     extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized 
     seed of such plant which is incapable of germination; or
       (C) any drug product approved under section 505 of the 
     Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or biological product 
     licensed under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.
       (c) Conforming Amendments to Immigration and Nationality 
     Act.--The Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et 
     seq.) is amended--
       (1) in section 212(h), by striking ``and subparagraph 
     (A)(i)(II) of such subsection insofar as it relates to a 
     single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of 
     marijuana'';
       (2) in section 237(a)(2)(B)(i), by striking ``other than a 
     single offense involving possession for one's own use of 30 
     grams or less of marijuana'';
       (3) in section 101(f)(3), by striking ``(except as such 
     paragraph relates to a single offense of simple possession of 
     30 grams or less of marihuana)'';
       (4) in section 244(c)(2)(A)(iii)(II) by striking ``except 
     for so much of such paragraph as relates to a single offense 
     of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana'';
       (5) in section 245(h)(2)(B) by striking ``(except for so 
     much of such paragraph as related to a single offense of 
     simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana)'';
       (6) in section 210(c)(2)(B)(ii)(III) by striking ``, except 
     for so much of such paragraph as relates to a single offense 
     of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marihuana''; and
       (7) in section 245A(d)(2)(B)(ii)(II) by striking ``, except 
     for so much of such paragraph as relates to a single offense 
     of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marihuana''.

     SEC. 10. RESENTENCING AND EXPUNGEMENT.

       (a) Expungement of Non-Violent Federal Cannabis Offense 
     Convictions for Individuals Not Under a Criminal Justice 
     Sentence.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, each Federal district shall 
     conduct a comprehensive review and issue an order expunging 
     each conviction or adjudication of juvenile delinquency for a 
     non-violent Federal cannabis offense entered by each Federal 
     court in the district before the date of enactment of this 
     Act and on or after May 1, 1971. Each Federal court shall 
     also issue an order expunging any arrests associated with 
     each expunged conviction or adjudication of juvenile 
     delinquency.
       (2) Notification.--To the extent practicable, each Federal 
     district shall notify each individual whose arrest, 
     conviction, or adjudication

[[Page H4087]]

     of delinquency has been expunged pursuant to this subsection 
     that their arrest, conviction, or adjudication of juvenile 
     delinquency has been expunged, and the effect of such 
     expungement.
       (3) Right to petition court for expungement.--At any point 
     after the date of enactment of this Act, any individual with 
     a prior conviction or adjudication of juvenile delinquency 
     for a non-violent Federal cannabis offense, who is not under 
     a criminal justice sentence, may file a motion for 
     expungement. If the expungement of such a conviction or 
     adjudication of juvenile delinquency is required pursuant to 
     this Act, the court shall expunge the conviction or 
     adjudication, and any associated arrests. If the individual 
     is indigent, counsel shall be appointed to represent the 
     individual in any proceedings under this subsection.
       (4) Sealed record.--The court shall seal all records 
     related to a conviction or adjudication of juvenile 
     delinquency that has been expunged under this subsection. 
     Such records may only be made available by further order of 
     the court.
       (b) Sentencing Review for Individuals Under a Criminal 
     Justice Sentence.--
       (1) In general.--For any individual who is under a criminal 
     justice sentence for a non-violent Federal cannabis offense, 
     the court that imposed the sentence shall, on motion of the 
     individual, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, the 
     attorney for the Government, or the court, conduct a 
     sentencing review hearing. If the individual is indigent, 
     counsel shall be appointed to represent the individual in any 
     sentencing review proceedings under this subsection.
       (2) Potential reduced resentencing.--After a sentencing 
     hearing under paragraph (1), a court shall--
       (A) expunge each conviction or adjudication of juvenile 
     delinquency for a non-violent Federal cannabis offense 
     entered by the court before the date of enactment of this 
     Act, and any associated arrest;
       (B) vacate the existing sentence or disposition of juvenile 
     delinquency and, if applicable, impose any remaining sentence 
     or disposition of juvenile delinquency on the individual as 
     if this Act, and the amendments made by this Act, were in 
     effect at the time the offense was committed; and
       (C) order that all records related to a conviction or 
     adjudication of juvenile delinquency that has been expunged 
     or a sentence or disposition of juvenile delinquency that has 
     been vacated under this Act be sealed and only be made 
     available by further order of the court.
       (c) Effect of Expungement.--An individual who has had an 
     arrest, a conviction, or juvenile delinquency adjudication 
     expunged under this section--
       (1) may treat the arrest, conviction, or adjudication as if 
     it never occurred; and
       (2) shall be immune from any civil or criminal penalties 
     related to perjury, false swearing, or false statements, for 
     a failure to disclose such arrest, conviction, or 
     adjudication.
       (d) Exception.--An individual who at sentencing received an 
     aggravating role adjustment pursuant to United States 
     Sentencing Guideline 3B1.1(a) in relation to a Federal 
     cannabis offense conviction shall not be eligible for 
     expungement of that Federal cannabis offense conviction under 
     this section.
       (e) Definitions.--In this section:
       (1) The term ``Federal cannabis offense'' means an offense 
     that is no longer punishable pursuant to this Act or the 
     amendments made under this Act.
       (2) The term ``expunge'' means, with respect to an arrest, 
     a conviction, or a juvenile delinquency adjudication, the 
     removal of the record of such arrest, conviction, or 
     adjudication from each official index or public record.
       (3) The term ``under a criminal justice sentence'' means, 
     with respect to an individual, that the individual is serving 
     a term of probation, parole, supervised release, 
     imprisonment, official detention, pre-release custody, or 
     work release, pursuant to a sentence or disposition of 
     juvenile delinquency imposed on or after the effective date 
     of the Controlled Substances Act (May 1, 1971).
       (f) Study.--The Comptroller General of the United States, 
     in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human 
     Services, shall conduct a demographic study of individuals 
     convicted of a Federal cannabis offense. Such study shall 
     include information about the age, race, ethnicity, sex, and 
     gender identity of those individuals, the type of community 
     such users dwell in, and such other demographic information 
     as the Comptroller General determines should be included.
       (g) Report.--Not later than 2 years after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall report to Congress the results of the study 
     conducted under subsection (f).

     SEC. 11. REFERENCES IN EXISTING LAW TO MARIJUANA OR 
                   MARIHUANA.

       Wherever, in the statutes of the United States or in the 
     rulings, regulations, or interpretations of various 
     administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States--
       (1) there appears or may appear the term ``marihuana'' or 
     ``marijuana'', that term shall be struck and the term 
     ``cannabis'' shall be inserted; and
       (2) there appears or may appear the term ``Marihuana'' or 
     ``Marijuana'', that term shall be struck and the term 
     ``Cannabis'' shall be inserted.

     SEC. 12. SEVERABILITY.

       If any provision of this Act or an amendment made by this 
     Act, or any application of such provision to any person or 
     circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder 
     of this Act, the amendments made by this Act, and the 
     application of this Act and the amendments made by this Act 
     to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected.

     SEC. 13. CANNABIS OFFENSE DEFINED.

       For purposes of this Act, the term ``cannabis offense'' 
     means a criminal offense related to cannabis--
       (1) that, under Federal law, is no longer punishable 
     pursuant to this Act or the amendments made under this Act; 
     or
       (2) that, under State law, is no longer an offense or that 
     was designated a lesser offense or for which the penalty was 
     reduced under State law pursuant to or following the adoption 
     of a State law authorizing the sale or use of cannabis.

     SEC. 14. RULEMAKING.

       Unless otherwise provided in this Act, not later than 1 
     year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Department 
     of the Treasury, the Department of Justice, and the Small 
     Business Administration shall issue or amend any rules, 
     standard operating procedures, and other legal or policy 
     guidance necessary to carry out implementation of this Act. 
     After the 1-year period, any publicly issued sub-regulatory 
     guidance, including any compliance guides, manuals, 
     advisories and notices, may not be issued without 60-day 
     notice to appropriate congressional committees. Notice shall 
     include a description and justification for additional 
     guidance.

     SEC. 15. SOCIETAL IMPACT OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION STUDY.

       The Comptroller General of the United States shall, not 
     later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, 
     provide to Congress a study that addresses the societal 
     impact of the legalization of recreational cannabis by 
     States, including--
       (1) sick days reported to employers;
       (2) workers compensations claims;
       (3) tax revenue remitted to States resulting from legal 
     marijuana sales;
       (4) changes in government spending related to enforcement 
     actions and court proceedings;
       (5) Federal welfare assistance applications;
       (6) rate of arrests related to methamphetamine possession;
       (7) hospitalization rates related to methamphetamine and 
     narcotics use;
       (8) uses of marijuana and its byproducts for medical 
     purposes;
       (9) uses of marijuana and its byproducts for purposes 
     relating to the health, including the mental health, of 
     veterans;
       (10) arrest rates of individuals driving under the 
     influence or driving while intoxicated by marijuana;
       (11) traffic-related deaths and injuries where the driver 
     is impaired by marijuana;
       (12) arrest of minors for marijuana-related charges;
       (13) violent crime rates;
       (14) school suspensions, expulsions, and law enforcement 
     referrals that are marijuana-related;
       (15) high school dropout rates;
       (16) changes in district-wide and State-wide standardized 
     test scores;
       (17) marijuana-related hospital admissions and poison 
     control calls;
       (18) marijuana-related juvenile admittances into substance 
     rehabilitation facilities and mental health clinics;
       (19) diversion of marijuana into neighboring States and 
     drug seizures in neighboring States;
       (20) marijuana plants grown on public lands in 
     contravention to Federal and State laws; and
       (21) court filings under a State's organized crime 
     statutes.


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The bill, as amended, shall be debatable for 
1 hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
member of the Committee on the Judiciary or their respective designees.
  The gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler) and the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Bentz) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.


                             General Leave

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
insert extraneous material on H.R. 3617.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 3617, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and 
Expungement Act, or the MORE Act, is long-overdue legislation that 
would reverse decades of failed Federal policies based on the 
criminalization of marijuana. It would also take steps to address the 
heavy toll these policies have taken across the country, particularly 
among communities of color.

                              {time}  0915

  For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice 
problem, instead of as a matter of personal choice and public health. 
Whatever one's views are on the use of marijuana for recreational or 
medicinal use, the policy of arrests, prosecution, and incarceration at 
the Federal level has proven both unwise and unjust.
  That is why the MORE Act would set a new path forward and would begin 
to correct some of the injustices of the last 50 years. The bill 
decriminalizes

[[Page H4088]]

marijuana at the Federal level by removing it from the Controlled 
Substances Act. This change applies retroactively to prior and pending 
convictions. It does not, however, undermine the ability of States to 
apply their criminal laws to marijuana or to legalize and regulate it 
as they see fit.
  The bill also eliminates barriers to medical research, allows the VA 
to recommend medical marijuana to veterans living with PTSD, and it 
allows financial institutions to service the marijuana industry. It 
provides for expungement or resentencing of certain Federal marijuana 
arrests and convictions and supports expungement programs at the State 
and local levels.
  In addition, the bill authorizes a sales tax on marijuana sales and 
directs those revenues to an Opportunity Trust Fund to support 
communities harmed by the war on drugs. It also establishes a wide 
range of grant programs to support equal access to the benefits of 
decriminalization.
  When it comes to our immigration laws, the bill prospectively and 
retroactively ensures that marijuana will not be considered a 
controlled substance, directly mirroring the protection and relief 
under the criminal justice provisions of the bill. This protects 
individuals from the collateral consequences for marijuana activity and 
ensures that immigrants can participate in their State's legal cannabis 
industry.
  In recent years, 36 States and the District of Columbia have 
legalized medical cannabis. Nineteen States and the District of 
Columbia have legalized cannabis for adult recreational use.
  If States are the laboratories of democracy, it is long past time for 
the Federal Government to recognize that legalization has been a 
resounding success and that the conflict with Federal law has become 
untenable.
  While I am proud to be the sponsor of this legislation, there are 
many people who are responsible for getting us to this point today. I 
want to thank them for their efforts.
  This includes Congresswoman Barbara Lee, the mother of this movement, 
and Congressman Blumenauer, whose dogged persistence was critical to 
moving this legislation forward. Congressman Cohen has also been a 
long-time champion and an important voice in the movement for reform, 
as has Congresswoman Jackson Lee, who helped shepherd this legislation 
to the floor.
  I also want to thank Chairman Neal, who has been a critical partner 
in drafting the revenue provisions in this bill and in helping move 
this legislation to the floor, as well as Chairman McGovern, who 
structured a good debate on this bill.
  Finally, Speaker Pelosi, Whip Clyburn, and Chairman Jeffries have all 
been steadfast in their support of this legislation, and I want to 
particularly thank Majority Leader Hoyer for everything he has done to 
bring this bill to the floor.
  Mr. Speaker, criminal penalties for marijuana offenses, and the 
resulting collateral consequences, are unjust and harmful to our 
society. The MORE Act comprehensively addresses these injustices, and I 
urge all my colleagues to support this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, there is a war raging in Ukraine, killing thousands and 
thousands of innocent people.
  Gasoline, diesel, and grocery prices are through the roof.
  For all practical purposes, we don't have a southern border anymore, 
so hundreds of thousands of immigrants continue to flood into the 
United States, and the situation there is about to get much worse.
  Rampant inflation is making short work of the hard-earned money of 
all Americans, but the main priority for the Democrats this week isn't 
Ukraine, skyrocketing gasoline prices, 8 percent inflation, or the 
border crisis. No. Instead, it is marijuana.
  It has been obvious for years that at some point, marijuana was going 
to be formally legalized. What is deeply and truly disturbing, however, 
about this bill is its failure to address the clear consequences of 
legalization--such as what this drug does to children, to drivers on 
our highways, to the mental health of up to 30 percent of those adults 
who choose to use marijuana, to communities inundated with hundreds, if 
not thousands, of foreign cartel-operated, unlicensed, and out-of-
control marijuana growers, and finally, to those who actually try to 
produce cannabis, marijuana, legally.
  Let's take a closer look at Oregon, my State, to see what really 
happens when marijuana is legalized without careful and necessary 
thought.
  The picture behind me is a hoop house. It is about 100-feet long and 
50-feet wide. At current retail, it will produce about $6 million worth 
of marijuana a year.
  The next picture is a picture of a grow consisting of 30 to 40 hoop 
houses. By the way, these are all in my district in southern Oregon. 
And if each of these hoop houses is in full production, 40 hoop houses 
would generate $240 million, at retail, of marijuana each year.
  To put this in perspective, there are currently 180 grows like this 
in Jackson County, Oregon, alone, many of which are illegal. Hundreds 
upon hundreds of hoop houses.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that a video taken from a 
helicopter of approximately 180 grows in Jackson County be entered into 
the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair can't entertain that request.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I will move on.
  These operations are, in large part, unlicensed, uncontrolled, 
unregulated, operated on stolen water, ignoring building codes, 
ignoring land use laws, ignoring labor laws, and importing thousands 
upon thousands of immigrants to work in squalor and in fear.
  Why? Because the Federal Government has refused to help the 
overwhelmed local law enforcement officers meet the huge challenge 
these cartels present.
  In fact, months ago, I directly asked Attorney General Garland and 
again, several weeks ago, for his assistance in getting the FBI, 
Homeland Security, and the DEA to help us in southern Oregon, and I 
have heard nothing, absolutely nothing, back from him.
  This is why it is essential that any bill dealing with legalization 
include significant money for law enforcement. We are certainly not 
getting any help from the Attorney General.
  This picture behind me is what the living conditions are like for the 
immigrants working for the cartels.
  We are experiencing one of the worst droughts in the history of the 
western United States. Water is gold in my district. Cartels are 
stealing water and using it to grow marijuana.
  Water regulators in southern Oregon have been threatened with death 
by cartel members when they have tried to stop water theft. Here is a 
picture of some of the stolen water.
  When the crop is harvested, hoop houses are abandoned, the migrant 
laborers disappear, and the mess is left for someone else to clean up. 
Here is what that looks like.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the record the Politico article labeled ``. 
. . Why Legal Weed Didn't Kill Oregon's Black Market,'' dated January 
14, 2022.

 ``Talk About Clusterf---': Why Legal Weed Didn't Kill Oregon's Black 
                                 Market

       Cave Junction, Ore.--The first unlicensed cannabis grow 
     popped up near Gary Longnecker's remote Southern Oregon home 
     seven years ago. Now there are six farms surrounding the 
     densely-forested property. ``Last night I woke up at 12:30 
     with gunshots. [Then again] this morning, seven o'clock,'' 
     Longnecker said as he and I walked his land in November. 
     ``That's them intimidating all of us neighbors to keep out of 
     their face.'' A Vietnam veteran and former firefighter, 
     Longnecker retired to the woods of southern Oregon almost 30 
     years ago to get some peace and quiet, but that's not exactly 
     what he's found. Historically a logging community, the 
     residents of the Illinois Valley near Cave Junction are still 
     drastically outnumbered by trees--and they prefer it that 
     way. In most places, you could yell at the top of your lungs 
     from your front door without another soul hearing. Many 
     people in the county own a gun, and typically aim them at 
     deer or bears--not their neighbors. But since the cannabis 
     farmers moved in (none of whom appear to be licensed based on 
     state records), Longnecker says he's had bullets whiz by his 
     head when working outside, and regularly hears gunshots in 
     the middle of the night. Trash and toilet paper are littered 
     around the thin wire fence that separates his forested land 
     from each cannabis farm. As Longnecker gave me a tour of his 
     property, a few people could be seen moving around on the 
     property through the scattered pine trees and partially-
     deconstructed hoop houses. Longnecker's partner called out to 
     them in broken Spanish, since she believed

[[Page H4089]]

     most of the workers were Hispanic. No one answered. A few 
     moments later, shots rang out. ``So that's called 
     intimidation,'' Longnecker said as we hurried away. It's a 
     word that I heard often when I spoke with residents about 
     their marijuana-growing neighbors. Over the last two years, 
     there's been such an influx of outlaw farmers that southern 
     Oregon now rivals California's notorious Emerald Triangle as 
     a national center of illegal weed cultivation. Even though 
     marijuana cultivation has been legal in Oregon since 2014, 
     Jackson County Sheriff Nate Sickler says there could be up to 
     1,000 illegal operations in a region of more than 4,000 
     square miles. The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission, 
     which oversees the state's $1.2 billion legal cannabis 
     industry, estimates the number of illicit operations is 
     double that. Local law enforcement officials believe that 
     people from every U.S. state and as many as 20 countries have 
     purchased property in Jackson or Josephine counties. Cartels 
     roll in and offer long-time residents as much as a million 
     dollars in cash for their property, and hoop houses follow 
     soon after the sale is complete. Residents have become 
     accustomed to hearing Bulgarian, Chinese, Russian and even 
     Hebrew spoken at the grocery store. ``Two weeks ago, we took 
     down a Bulgarian operation and in the same week an 
     Argentinian operation,'' said Josephine County Sheriff Dave 
     Daniel, adding that they've also recently dealt with Chinese- 
     and Mexican-run oufits. ``A lot of these organizations, 
     before the legal market came into effect, would grow in the 
     forest lands--they'd be up in the hills,'' explained Obie 
     Strickler, a licensed cannabis grower in Josephine County. 
     ``Now they're . . . right out in the open.'' What is 
     happening in the woods of the southern Oregon represents one 
     of the most confounding paradoxes of the legalized marijuana 
     movement: States with some of the largest legal markets are 
     also dealing with rampant illegal production--and the problem 
     is getting worse. Oklahoma, where licenses to cultivate 
     medical marijuana are some of the easiest to get in the 
     nation, has conducted more than five dozen raids on illicit 
     grows since last April. In California, meanwhile, most of the 
     state continues to purchase cannabis from unlicensed 
     sources--straining legal operators already struggling with 
     the state's high taxes and fees. It wasn't supposed to be 
     this way. One of the underlying promises for legalizing 
     cannabis was that legalization would make the illegal drug 
     trade, with all its attendant problems of violent crime and 
     money laundering, disappear. But 25 years into the 
     legalization movement, as 36 states have adopted some form of 
     legalized marijuana, the black market is booming across the 
     country. Legal states such as Oregon and California--which 
     have been supplying the nation for nigh on 60 years--are 
     still furnishing the majority of America's illegal weed.
       Oregon's weed is some of the cheapest in the nation, and 
     Oregonians predominantly purchase weed from licensed 
     dispensaries. Economist Beau Whitney estimates that 80-85 
     percent of the state's demand is met by the legal market. But 
     most of the illicit weed grown in southern Oregon is leaving 
     the state, heading to places where legal weed is still not 
     available for purchase `such as New York or Pennsylvania--or 
     where the legal price is still very high, like Chicago and 
     Los Angeles. In Illinois, which legalized medical marijuana 
     in 2013, only about a third of the demand for cannabis is 
     satisfied by legal dispensaries, according to Whitney. 
     Differences in tax rate and regulations plays the major role 
     in differences from state to state, Whitney explains. 
     Unlicensed growers aren't paying any fees or taxes, and they 
     can afford to keep their prices at least 20 percent lower 
     than legal weed--the benchmark Whitney says is the difference 
     in consumers purchasing legal versus illegal products.
       ``It all comes down to economics,'' said Whitney. ``If you 
     reduce the price, then there's no, or little, or less, 
     incentive [for consumers] to participate in [the] illicit 
     market because you're getting the price that you want . . . 
     that's the tipping point.'' The macro-economics of the 
     marijuana market are small consolation to residents of 
     Oregon, who say they are caught in a regulatory gap between 
     state law, which fully legalized cannabis in 2014, and 
     federal law, which still considers cannabis to be as illegal 
     as heroin. The one exception in federal law is for hemp, a 
     low-THC cannabis plant which looks virtually identical to the 
     naked eye. Officials say that some of Oregon's illegal farms 
     are masquerading as hemp producers to escape federal 
     oversight. There are just more than 1,000 licensed marijuana 
     and hemp farms in Jackson and Josephine counties, but a 
     recent test of the region's hemp farms found that more than 
     half were illegally growing marijuana--not the low-THC hemp. 
     ``[They] easily danced into the hemp program and got 
     administrative protection,'' said Oregon Liquor and Cannabis 
     Commission Executive Director Steve Marks. ``They inundated 
     that program.'' On top of that, there could be a thousand or 
     more unlicensed grows that never bothered with a hemp 
     license. The impact of the booming illegal trade is being 
     felt by overburdened law enforcement that can't keep up with 
     the illegal operations that seem to sprout with abandon, but 
     it is also exhausting the patience of residents who were key 
     to making Oregon one of the first states to legalize medical 
     marijuana in the late 1990s. ``The danger of what's going on 
     and the fear and worry folks in southern Oregon are feeling 
     about their safety cannot be overstated,'' Sen. Ron Wyden (D-
     Ore.), the influential chairman of the Finance Committee, 
     told POLITICO in December. ``And it's all the more reason why 
     federal cannabis prohibition is just not working.'' Nicole 
     Rensenbrink, a 62-year-old social worker, travels daily along 
     a curving two-lane road that weaves between groves of tall 
     trees and dozens of farms before finally passing the local 
     high school. Along her seven-minute commute to work, she 
     passes 14 marijuana cultivation or processing sites. She's 
     not an expert, but she can tell that many of them are illegal 
     by the lack of proper signs and the number of hoop houses 
     that exceed the legal limits. But it's the unforeseen 
     consequences--the damage to the environment, not to mention a 
     general fear for her safety--that most troubles her. ``I and 
     my husband both voted for cannabis legalization. I'm liberal, 
     [an] old hippie type. I don't want people to go to jail for 
     smoking pot or dealing a little weed.'' Rensenbrink said. 
     ``But I regret it. At this point, I really regret it. People 
     have grown marijuana illegally in southern Oregon for at 
     least half a century. It was easy to conceal illicit activity 
     in private woods and national forests when the nearest human 
     could easily be a few miles away. But there's nothing hidden 
     about what's going on now. The Red Mountain Golf Course, a 
     24-acre plot of land just outside Grants Pass, the county 
     seat, sold for just over half a million dollars in June 2021. 
     Three months later, Josephine County Sheriffs and Oregon 
     State Troopers raided the former golf course and seized more 
     than 4,000 marijuana plants and arrested two people on 
     charges of felony marijuana manufacture. It wasn't an 
     isolated incident. Around the same time, law enforcement 
     seized 380 pounds of processed marijuana stuffed in a car 
     abandoned at the scene of a crash. Cops also seized 7,600 
     marijuana and hemp plants, 5,000 pounds of processed 
     marijuana and $210,000 in cash from two grow operations just 
     outside Cave Junction. Two men were arrested and held for 
     unlawful manufacture of a marijuana item and other 
     charges. While these eyepopping figures draw headlines, 
     the raids are just a cost of doing business for the 
     cartels, according to law enforcement officials. Many buy 
     or lease six or seven properties, knowing that some might 
     get shut down by the police. Like any smart entrepreneurs, 
     the cartels budget for those losses. ``They know that the 
     resources for law enforcement and our ability to combat 
     this issue [are such that] they can overwhelm us,'' Daniel 
     said. The proliferation of unlicensed cannabis farms is 
     scaring local residents and scarring the landscape. 
     Personal wells have run dry and rivers have been illegally 
     diverted. Piles of trash litter abandoned grow sites. 
     Locals report having knives pulled on them, and growers 
     showing up on their porches with guns to make demands 
     about local water use. Multiple women say they've been 
     followed long distances by strange vehicles. Locals 
     regularly end conversations with an ominous warning: ``Be 
     careful.'' Debbie, who retired from the Napa County 
     Sheriff's Department in California, has little faith in 
     Josephine County's law enforcement. Debbie, who requested 
     her last name not be used for fear of reprisal from the 
     drug dealers, says that officers didn't show up when ten 
     gun shots whizzed past her husband's head while he was 
     sitting on the porch, or when the neighbor's pit bulls 
     chased her from the mailbox back up to her own home. When 
     Debbie reported her neighbors to the sheriff's department, 
     they asked her to photograph the license plates of the 
     growers next door, but she was spotted taking pictures.
       ``[The growers] stalked me and chased me all the way down 
     Placer Road,'' she said.
       The problem has gotten so bad that residents and local 
     officials have called for the Oregon National Guard to be 
     called in. Democratic Gov. Kate Brown hasn't taken that step 
     yet, but in December she called a special session in which 
     lawmakers approved $25 million to address Oregon's illicit 
     grows. $20 million of that funding is designated for law 
     enforcement to increase staff and resources, while $5 million 
     is dedicated for oversight of water use and water theft. 
     Earlier in the year, the legislature passed a bill, sponsored 
     by Republican state Rep. Lily Morgan, that increased 
     penalties for growing cannabis illegally and gave state 
     regulators the authority to investigate hemp growers. Jackson 
     County Sheriff Nate Sickler says the tougher rules for hemp 
     cultivation and the money lawmakers funneled to local 
     enforcement efforts are an excellent start.
       ``If we're able to get our positions funded, I really think 
     we can make a significant impact [on] illegal marijuana,'' 
     said Sickler. ``Are they going to go away? It's probably 
     never going to happen.'' The illicit market isn't just a law 
     enforcement problem, however; it's actually having an effect 
     on the environmental health of the region.
       Chris Hall has spent months surveilling cannabis farms in 
     Josephine County's Illinois River Valley from the air. The 
     community organizer with the Illinois Valley Soil & Water 
     Conservation District is compiling a map of illicit grows 
     checked against state licensing information.
       On a weekday afternoon in November, Hall explored the 
     debris-filled Q Bar X Ranch site, taking photographs for his 
     records. In August, it took about 250 law enforcement 
     officers--called in from state and federal agencies--to raid 
     the ranch. Officials seized 200,000 marijuana plants and 
     found more than 130 workers at the site, according to the 
     Josephine County Sheriff's department. At the main site, a 
     new fence with ``no trespassing'' signs warned off curious 
     visitors.

[[Page H4090]]

     Behind that fence were the ruins of a massive cannabis 
     operation: multiple white hoop houses, now in tatters; 
     ramshackle buildings where workers likely lived; PVC pipes, 
     tarps, buckets, and empty containers of fertilizer and 
     pesticides.
       Down the road, the second site was in an even greater state 
     of disarray. Huge gashes had been cut into the earth, and a 
     crevice was filled with bottles of fertilizer and pesticides. 
     The banks of a stream were laden with what seemed like the 
     contents of an entire convenience store snack and soda 
     section. ``You want to talk about clusterf---, here it is,'' 
     Hall said, shaking his head as he saw that the creek 
     bisecting the grow site was lined with plastic. ``The [creek] 
     bed is the most sensitive natural habitat that we have,'' 
     Hall said. ``To line it with plastic, particularly black 
     plastic, is to kill everything underneath it.'' Hall was 
     hired because the soil and water district was inundated 
     with complaints from local residents about the negative 
     impacts on their water sources. The $5 million that 
     Morgan's bill recently allocated for water-resource issues 
     is meant to address this problem.
       Reclaiming land and waterways after illicit growing occurs, 
     though, is an expensive and complex undertaking. A U.S. House 
     member proposed allocating $25 million in last year's federal 
     budget for shuttering and reclaiming grow sites on national 
     forest land, though it was removed from the final bill. Even 
     if that funding eventually gets approved, it could only be 
     used to target a small sliver of the illicit grows in 
     Josephine and Jackson counties, since most are on private 
     property.
       ``If this was going on [closer to Eugene or Portland], you 
     better believe the state of Oregon would stomp this out in a 
     hot second,'' Hall said--but added that many of the region's 
     residents are famously resistant to government intervention, 
     especially from the state capitol four hours north. ``You 
     know, sometimes you get what you asked for. . . . [Southern 
     Oregonians] have been telling [the state government] to leave 
     you alone, so we're gonna just leave you alone.''
       There are as many suggested solutions to southern Oregon's 
     weed problem as there are factors creating it. Some say 
     tweaks to federal and state hemp regulations--and more money 
     for law enforcement--will get the illicit grows under 
     control. Others argue that only federal decriminalization 
     will solve the problem, because it would reduce the market 
     for illicit weed.
       Anti-legalization advocates, meanwhile, point to Oregon's 
     woes as proof that legalization doesn't live up to its 
     promise of eliminating the illicit market.
       ``Legalization exacerbates the issue of illicit growing 
     operations because it increases the demand for the product,'' 
     Kevin Sabet told POLITICO. ``With more users emerging 
     throughout the state, more sellers--both legal and illegal--
     begin working to match the supply. The state has done little 
     to curb demand because it has little incentive to do so.''
       On the last point, John Hudak of the Brookings Institute 
     says that the rampant illicit operations in Oregon aren't 
     likely to be replicated in more densely-populated states like 
     Connecticut or Rhode Island. ``I don't think there's a direct 
     connection between legalization and this situation 
     happening,'' said Hudak, an expert on cannabis policy who 
     also volunteers as part of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, 
     Education, and Regulation--a think tank funded in part by 
     Molson Coors and Constellation Brands (which owns Corona). 
     Constellation Brands has already entered the cannabis 
     beverage market. ``There's sort of geographic aspects to why 
     it thrives in certain states,'' Hudak added. ``This is more 
     likely to happen on a large scale in larger states with rural 
     spaces than it would be in smaller, urban states.'' Instead, 
     Hudak argues that the illicit market will continue to thrive 
     in legal states as long as cannabis remains federally 
     illegal. It isn't clear when full legalization could happen, 
     though--if ever. A federal decriminalization bill proposed in 
     2021 by Wyden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. 
     Cory Booker (D-NJ) has only been seen by the general public 
     in draft form, and it isn't clear when it will be formally 
     introduced in Congress. The draft version of that 
     decriminalization bill would levy high taxes against the 
     cannabis industry, which Whitney, the economist, argues would 
     push prices higher and give illicit growers continued market 
     access.
       Cautionary tales like Oregon's won't move the federal 
     needle, either, Hudak cautions. The lawmakers who understand 
     the impact of the federal-state cannabis policy gap, he says, 
     are the ones who already support legalization. Moreover, 
     there have already been many other stories about the problems 
     created by the policy gap--such as the impact siloed markets 
     have on the environment or the inability of cannabis farmers 
     and store owners to get reliable insurance to cover looters 
     or forest fires--and federal policy has remained the same.
       The problem, cannabis advocates say, is not that 
     legalization has failed. Rather it's that the country hasn't 
     legalized enough. Until many more states--and the federal 
     government--decide to legalize cannabis, those advocates say, 
     the illicit weed problem is going to continue, even in legal 
     states. The patchwork of still-illegal states--including some 
     of the country's most populous--creates tootempting a 
     market for illicit growers.
       ``We don't have a [moonshine] business in the country . . . 
     that is challenging Budweiser or Grey Goose,'' Hudak said. 
     ``Alcohol is widespread legal. And until we get on that same 
     page with cannabis, this is going to be a continuing 
     problem.''
       The OLCC's Marks, though, argues that blanket legalization 
     won't solve all of the problems because hemp and marijuana 
     will still be regulated separately at the federal level--hemp 
     through the Department of Agriculture and marijuana through 
     the FDA or the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
       ``Frankly, the federal government has plenty of 
     responsibility and accountability for the regulation of legal 
     hemp and THC,'' Marks said. ``Making regulators bifurcate the 
     plan under an old federal definition of marijuana and a newer 
     one of hemp is creating unaccountability, craziness and a bad 
     market.'' Oregon tweaked its hemp rules this year to make THC 
     testing more enforceable. Meanwhile, the 2023 farm bill is up 
     for discussion in Washington, D.C. this year, but there has 
     not been much chatter on Capitol Hill about making hemp 
     oversight more stringent.
       Economist Beau Whitney argues that focusing on hemp 
     regulations is a misplaced solution because many cartels 
     don't bother to hide behind hemp licenses.
       ``They're focusing in on small hemp farmers instead of the 
     real problem, which is international cartels,'' Whitney said. 
     ``Until there's some way in which to have a coordinated 
     enforcement against the illicit cartels, this is going to 
     perpetuate.''
       While experts and lawmakers in Salem and Washington, D.C. 
     go back and forth over the solutions, southern Oregonians 
     will continue to live with the impact of divergent cannabis 
     laws. ``The people in Salem and the people in Grants Pass 
     don't understand that we're living under this intimidation,'' 
     Gary Longnecker said, talking about the Oregon state capital 
     and his county's seat of government. ``To sit here and be 
     ignored by the people who are supposed to represent you, not 
     even get a staff member to call you back, is so, so 
     frustrating,'' he said. He's glad that Oregon's legislature 
     adopted tougher rules for hemp growers, but doesn't think 
     it's nearly enough to solve the problem. ``You can't just 
     keep throwing a little bit of money out [here], because . . . 
     it's like whack a mole. Take this one out, and four more pop 
     up over here.''

  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely essential that any bill 
legalizing marijuana include significant funding for law enforcement 
which will be absolutely and predictably necessary to control the 
cartels that will flood into the farming areas such as southern Oregon.
  Simply setting up a penalty, as this bill does, for failing to 
register will not work without the concurrent means of enforcement. Do 
not let the defunding-the-police thinking that currently is in this 
bill lead the Nation into the same ecological human and social disaster 
we now face in Oregon.
  The bill fails to address impairment. It fails to address the ever-
increasing potency of the drug. It fails to address the age at which 
marijuana could be legally used.
  It fails to address the impact the bill's 5 percent and quickly 
rising to 8 percent gross receipts tax, when added to the State and 
local taxes, will have in driving the black market sources of 
marijuana. The Federal tax, when added in, will make legal marijuana 
almost 30 percent more expensive than that which is on the black 
market.
  The bill fails to correctly clarify the differences between marijuana 
and hemp. This is essential if the hemp market is to be protected from 
the policies and regulations associated with marijuana.
  This bill is the wrong approach.
  We should be addressing the crises created by the Biden 
administration, not passing an incomplete, inadequate, and damaging to 
our children and communities stimulus marijuana bill.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I would command the attention of the 
gentleman to the sections of the bill that deal with all the different 
problems he raised.
  I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. 
Cohen), a member of the committee.
  Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for my time.
  I rise in support of the MORE Act which would finally reform how we 
deal with marijuana laws and how we should. Mr. Bentz said we should 
put more money into law enforcement. That is the opposite of what we 
should do.
  Decriminalizing means cops spend less time busting people for 
marijuana possession and more time looking for people committing 
violent crime. That is a better use of law enforcement time.

[[Page H4091]]

  Maurice Hinchey and Sam Farr on this side of the aisle knew it when 
they were here. They sponsored bills, as did Don Young and Dana 
Rohrabacher on the other side of the aisle, because it was a 
Libertarian freedom issue.
  It is no secret the war on drugs failed. Harry Anslinger started it 
in the 1930s, and he vilified Hispanic Americans and said this was a 
way to get them.
  Then Richard Nixon even had a commission that said we should 
decriminalize marijuana but then decided, because of Ehrlichman and 
Haldeman, that, no, the Nixon strategy was better designed at going 
after marijuana because Blacks and hippies who protested the war were 
his opponents, and we needed to go after them.
  So they turned it around, they never legalized it as the commission 
said they should, and they made the war on drugs worse. It then went on 
and on.
  Marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol. People do not smoke 
marijuana and beat up their wives or get angry and beat up others or 
drive their cars in wildly dangerous conditions at fast speeds and kill 
others.
  Congress has been out of step on this issue. It is called cultural 
lag. We are finally coming around to rescheduling it from Schedule I 
where it is in a class with heroin and methamphetamines, which is 
absurd. We should have research.
  We must deschedule marijuana. We must decriminalize it at the Federal 
level. Now is the time to do some remedies to our Federal marijuana 
laws. This is an historic time.
  I thank Mr. Nadler, Ms. Lee, and the others who have championed this 
bill, Mr. Blumenauer, and let's move forward and do the right thing.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I just want to mention that I have read the 
bill very carefully, and there is nothing in the bill allocating money 
to law enforcement.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. 
Good).
  Mr. GOOD of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Oregon 
for yielding.
  Our country continues to suffer under the many crises created by the 
Biden administration and Democrat policies; you know, the border 
crisis, the crime crisis, the inflation crisis, the energy crisis. And 
yet, the priority of this Congress now turns to expanding access to 
addictive, behavior-altering, recreational drugs at a time when our 
country is also experiencing increased addiction, depression, and 
suicide.
  What is worse, we want to target those individuals and communities 
who are historically most impacted by the harm of illegal drugs and 
provide Federal funding to help enable criminals to open and operate 
now legal drug businesses.
  We have rising violent crime in Democrat-run cities across the 
country. More drug use won't help that.
  We had 100,000 Americans die of overdoses last year, the leading 
cause of death in Americans ages 18 to 45. More drug use won't help 
that.
  Our government, schools, and our education systems are failing us. 
More drug use won't help that.
  But, in fact, this legislation has no prohibitions on edible forms of 
marijuana, flavored vape products, or other efforts to target, 
specifically, teens and young people.
  Meanwhile, we have surrendered operational control of our southern 
border to the Mexican crime cartels, and we have got fentanyl and other 
dangerous drugs streaming into our country at historic levels because 
of this President's open border policies.
  Of course, what is his solution? Let's end Title 42 which is 
predicted to increase the daily crossings from the current 7,000 a day 
to as much as 18,000 a day. That is over half a million a month.
  How might this impact the illegal drug trade across our country? Law 
enforcement tells me that legalizing marijuana will force the criminal 
element to redouble their efforts into hard, more dangerous drugs to 
replace the profit that has been lost from marijuana.
  You can also look at the States that have already legalized it, and 
you can see the increased addiction, dependency, and homelessness that 
this has cost. We should be ashamed of ourselves for this legislation, 
and I oppose this bill.

                              {time}  0930

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Jeffries), the distinguished chairman of the Democratic 
Caucus.
  Mr. JEFFRIES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished chairman for 
yielding and for his tremendous leadership, as well as all of my 
colleagues who have worked on the MORE Act.
  Richard Nixon began the failed war on drugs a little over 50 years 
ago, in 1971. At the time, there were less than 300,000 Americans 
incarcerated in this country. Today, there are 2.3 million, 
disproportionately Black and Latino. Many of those individuals who have 
been incarcerated are there because of nonviolent drug offenses, often 
marijuana possession and use.
  The United States of America incarcerates more people than any other 
country in the world, including per capita China and Russia combined. 
That is a stain on our democracy.
  We have an overcriminalization problem in America. We have a mass 
incarceration problem in America. We have a prison industrial complex 
in America. It doesn't advance public safety, and it hurts economic 
development. It has ruined individuals, ruined lives, ruined families, 
and ruined communities, particularly in communities of color.
  It is time to end the Federal cannabis prohibition. It is time to 
deschedule it. It is time to decriminalize marijuana. It is time to 
invest in communities in a way that makes sense, both from a public 
safety standpoint as well as a fairness, equity, and justice 
standpoint. It is time to pass the MORE Act.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I just want to mention that there is about 
$400 million that would have been raised last year under this bill had 
this tax been in place, and none of that money goes to public safety. 
It goes to rebuild community space but not public safety.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Carter).
  Mr. CARTER of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, how is it that we here in 
Congress, in the face of all the domestic and international crises that 
we are facing right now, that we are here talking about decriminalizing 
and descheduling marijuana?
  Now, we are all going to go home this weekend, and what are our 
constituents going to be talking about? They are going to be talking 
about the price of gas. They are going to be talking about the price of 
food. They are going to be talking about the price that they have to 
pay to heat their homes.
  They are going to turn on the TV. What are they going to see? They 
are going to see in real time Ukrainians being bombed by Russia, 
fleeing for their lives.
  And what are we doing here in Congress? Talking about marijuana? You 
have got to be kidding me.
  Mr. Speaker, as you know, I am a pharmacist. I know addiction. I know 
and I have studied addiction. I can tell you, marijuana is nothing more 
than a gateway drug. It leads to other harder drugs. Don't try to 
justify this by saying, Oh, alcohol is a drug and it is legalized. That 
is not what we do. That makes no sense whatsoever.
  Mr. Speaker, we had a hearing in the Energy and Commerce Committee. 
We had 10 parents before us whose children had died due to opioid 
addiction. Not 8 out of 10, not 9 out of 10, but 10 out of 10 of those 
parents said they smoked marijuana to begin with; 10 out of 10. It is a 
gateway drug that leads to harder drugs.
  This is not a Republican-Democrat situation here. This is an American 
problem. You know that we had 100,000 Americans die of overdose last 
year.
  Mr. Speaker this is misguided. This is wrong. This is not what we 
should be discussing.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. Cicilline), a member of the Judiciary 
Committee.
  Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the MORE Act, 
legislation that takes an important step in rectifying some of the harm 
caused by the failed war on drugs.
  The enforcement of marijuana laws has been a major driver of mass 
incarceration in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people are 
arrested each year for marijuana-related charges, very often just 
possession.

[[Page H4092]]

This has, in turn, led to our Federal prison system operating at 103 
percent of capacity, and too many of these offenders are serving time 
for nonviolent drug-related crimes.
  A drug-related conviction, even for possession, can be devastating 
for the rest of a person's life, making it difficult or even impossible 
to vote, get a job, be approved for a loan, or even qualify for a 
government program. As we know, these consequences have had massively 
disproportionate impact on communities of color, as Chairman Jeffries 
just mentioned.
  This current system, frankly, doesn't work. It doesn't make any 
sense--not for community safety, not for the functioning of an 
effective prison system, and not for successful rehabilitation.
  By removing marijuana from the Federal controlled substances list, 
allowing for the expungement of marijuana offenses, and providing 
support to communities most impacted by the failed war on drugs, the 
MORE Act is a long overdue step in restoring justice and reversing the 
harms caused by the war on drugs.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Chairman Nadler for his extraordinary 
leadership on this issue. I am proud to be a cosponsor of this 
legislation and to support it here today. I urge my colleagues to join 
me in voting ``yes'' in reversing the gross injustice that the war on 
drugs has produced and bring sensible policy back into place.
  I again want to end by thanking everyone who has worked on this for 
so many years, but particularly our chairman for his passionate and 
strong leadership.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Biggs).
  Mr. BIGGS. Mr. Speaker, it is great to be here. I got a kick out of 
the gentleman from Tennessee showing his age. He is talking about pot 
when it was 2 percent THC. He is thinking pot is still this drug where 
people get goofy and they eat Cheetos and nacho cheese Doritos.

  He is not talking about the 99 percent THC pot that is being sold in 
some of these States where they have legalized recreational pot. I 
think that is really fun and anachronistic; very good to go back and 
think about how things were in the late 1960s, early 1970s.
  Let's talk about a Mother Jones article that I have before me where 
they are analyzing the use of pot, and they are talking about, hey, 
look, this is what happens, you start seeing paranoia and psychosis 
come in. They are referring to New Zealand studies, long-term 
longitudinal studies about the dangers of pot.
  That is interesting. We are not going to even talk about that because 
we don't have time to talk about that because we are focusing here on 
descheduling marijuana. What that does is that incentivizes marijuana 
use and distribution.
  But this bill is also reckless in its approach. It provides no limits 
on or requirements to clearly identify the potency of marijuana or its 
extracts or concentrates. In 1995, for instance, the THC concentration 
was about 4 percent on average. Today, it goes between 20 and 99 
percent.
  It also doesn't deal with what the Surgeon General says needs to be 
the case, that the minimum age limit should be age 25. This doesn't get 
into any age limit. It doesn't cover that, yet that is what the Surgeon 
General says.
  In fact, the Surgeon General's advisory says the human brain 
continues to develop from birth into the mid 20s, vulnerable to the 
effects of addictive substances, I don't know, like marijuana. In fact, 
it goes on to say frequent marijuana use during adolescence is 
associated with changes in the areas of the brain involving attention, 
memory, decision-making, and motivation.
  Adolescent marijuana use is associated with declines in IQ, school 
performance and attendance, and life satisfaction, increased rates of 
suicide attempts.
  You know what this bill does? It is a lot of fun, folks. What it does 
is, it says you can distribute this, under Federal law anyway, you can 
distribute this to an 11-year-old kid. The 11-year-old kid is going to 
have marijuana, be able to use it. You can't do anything to them here 
for that, that is for sure.
  What it does do is it creates a tax crime. It creates a tax crime. 
You get rid of your marijuana crime, it creates some tax crimes. We all 
know how great the Tax Code is for ease of use and understanding.
  Section 3 of the bill removes marijuana from the schedule of the 
Controlled Substances Act. It would no longer be a Federal crime to 
possess or sell marijuana, including to 11 year olds. Section 5, 
however, puts it into the Tax Code.
  I think there is another fun aspect here. It talks about 600,000 
arrests annually yet, the reality is that is for State and local 
crimes. In fact, there were 1,100 marijuana convictions in 2020 under 
Federal law. You know what those convictions were? Those were for 
transport and distribution. Now you are not going to be able to get to 
anybody for that.
  Let's talk about how well this has worked in the L.A. Times pieces 
that talk about this. The L.A. Times does a massive expose. What do 
they find out? They say Prop 64 was going to solve all these problems, 
solve the problems. Instead what you have are thousands of illegal grow 
dispensaries. Why? Because they have a Byzantine code like what these 
guys are setting up here today. So you have a crisis in L.A. County, 
San Bernardino County and also in Riverside County.
  Those grow farms use forced labor, as Mr. Bentz so eloquently talked 
about, the Oregon grow farms. These are being run in southern 
California by the cartels, who originate in Mexico, Ukraine, Russia, 
Bulgaria, and China. Yeah, that is what you are going to do, you are 
going to Federalize this. Well done. This is a piece of garbage. I 
oppose this legislation.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee), a member of the Judiciary 
Committee.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the lead sponsor, Chairman 
Nadler, for problem solving, along with Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Cohen, 
Congresswoman Lee, and all of those who galvanized all of us. I was 
pleased to be able to lead this through the Crime, Terrorism, and 
Homeland Security Subcommittee.
  The war on drugs simply failed, and I am glad that one interpretation 
that has just been evidenced by my good friend on the other side of the 
aisle will have little weight and little basis because what we are 
doing here is solving a problem.
  Let me just indicate from the Health Affairs Culture of Health, a 
Black person is still nearly four times more likely to be arrested for 
cannabis possession than a White person.
  To summarize this bill, it deals with Federal decriminalization, 
taxation, and expungement. It does not stop the DA, the Department of 
Justice, the FBI or anyone else from doing their job. The bill would 
remove cannabis from the list or schedule of federally controlled 
substances.

  This means that, going forward, individuals can no longer be 
prosecuted federally for marijuana offenses. This does not mean that 
marijuana would now be legal throughout the United States. The bill 
would simply remove the Federal Government from the business of 
prosecuting marijuana cases, which would leave the question of legality 
to individual States. Forty-seven States already have some form of 
legal use of marijuana.
  Let me share, my friends, the points that they are going to make. The 
bill was designed to help individuals who have been caught up in the 
criminal justice system for possessing more small amounts of marijuana 
for personal use. It was not designed to help drug traffickers.
  By the way, the President has given over a billion dollars to Ukraine 
as one of the steadfast leaders and has galvanized NATO and our allies, 
and not one of us needs to challenge the President or any one of us in 
our fight to help Ukraine.
  Let me make it very clear about crime. Read the President's budget. 
He has a massive piece in there to reduce crime. It is everywhere, 
including rural America, where Republicans say they are, but I don't 
look at it that way. It is Americans, we stand together. This bill is 
about America.
  The expungement provisions are limited to nonviolent marijuana 
possession convictions that have loaded up our Federal prisons. If an 
individual has other criminal convictions in addition to a covered 
nonviolent offense,

[[Page H4093]]

marijuana offense, the bill already includes a stated exemption for 
drug kingpins, meaning anyone who received an increased sentence for 
being a leader or organizer of drug trafficking will not qualify for 
expungement.
  Once this bill is passed, it would enable individuals to possess and 
use marijuana for personal use. Marijuana will be regulated as a 
commodity, but let me tell you what else will happen. We will be able 
to research, the scientists will be able to study what is happening to 
our young people, our juveniles if that is the case. We have a 
definitive position in there about helping those who may become 
addicted. We do not overlook those who might as well be using it, so 
let us go forward with this bill. I ask support for the bill.
  This bill was designed to help individuals who have been caught up in 
the criminal justice system for possessing small amounts of marijuana 
for personal use. It was not designed to help drug traffickers.
  The expungement provisions are limited to nonviolent marijuana 
possession convictions only. If an individual has other criminal 
convictions in addition to a covered nonviolent marijuana offense, 
those other convictions will not be expunged. The bill already includes 
a stated exemption for ``drug kingpins,'' meaning anyone who received 
an increased sentence for being a leader or organizer of drug 
trafficking will not qualify for an expungement.
  Once passed, this bill would enable individuals to possess and use 
marijuana for a personal use. Marijuana will be a regulated commodity 
like alcohol and the transportation, distribution, or selling of 
marijuana without complying with federal regulations will continue to 
be illegal. For example, an individual will not be able to transport 
marijuana across the border without complying with import regulations 
and appropriate tax requirements.
  The bill already includes a requirement that a study be conducted to 
understand the societal impacts of decriminalizing marijuana, including 
the impact on juveniles, education, transportation, veterans, 
employment, and many others.
  Because marijuana will now be considered a commodity or good to be 
sold and purchased, like alcohol and even cigarettes, the MORE Act 
preserves the FDA's ability to issue regulations to address the 
regulation, safety, manufacturing, product quality, marketing, 
labeling, and sale of products containing cannabis or cannabis derived 
compounds.
  Cannabis will be regulated along the same lines as alcohol and 
cigarettes, which have age requirements for consumption, sale, and 
purchase.
  Regulation of cannabis protects children and minors because the black 
market and street dealers are not required to ask for the age or ID of 
their customers, unlike permitted and regulated sellers.
  Driving while impaired is illegal in the United States. The MORE Act 
does not change this fact.
  Impaired driving occurs when someone operates a vehicle while 
impaired by a substance like marijuana, or any other drug, including 
prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, or alcohol. Law enforcement 
officers are trained to detect impairment of drivers by substances 
other than alcohol through field sobriety tests.
  Many states have supported the establishment of Drug Recognition and 
Classification programs within their State and local police, and the 
training of special Drug Recognition Experts, which are law enforcement 
officers trained to identify drug-impaired driving using a 12-step, 
standardized evaluation that includes behavioral tests and physical 
assessments to determine impairment among seven categories of drug 
classification.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Mississippi (Mr. Palazzo).

                              {time}  0945

  Mr. PALAZZO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Our country is facing a national security crisis, an energy crisis, a 
border crisis, and an economic crisis, but here we are, voting on 
cannabis legislation.
  How is this helping our constituents who are paying sky-high prices 
at the gas pump? How does this strengthen our military and help secure 
America? How does this address Biden's record-breaking surge of illegal 
immigrants at our southern border? How does this help us to leave a 
stronger, safer, more secure America for our children and our 
children's children?
  Simple answer: It doesn't.
  We are here today to vote to get America high.
  In States with legalized marijuana, there are more marijuana-related 
emergency room visits and hospitalizations than any other category.
  Patients in a study using marijuana to treat pain, anxiety, and 
depression failed to report improved symptoms, and the continued use of 
marijuana brought risk of addiction known as cannabis abuse disorder.
  The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that about 30 percent of 
marijuana users have some form of use disorder. In Colorado, the 
Speaker's home State and the leading State for legalizing marijuana, 
there was a 25 percent increase in CUD among 12- to 17-year-olds.
  These are our children. Allowing children, who don't know how to 
rationalize long-term effects of drugs, to use a gateway drug for 
recreational or medicinal purposes is reckless, negligent, careless, 
and irresponsible.
  The MORE Act does not responsibly end Federal prohibition of 
cannabis. The MORE Act does not end the war on drugs. All it does is 
poison our children and weaken our society.
  This flawed legislation is not time sensitive, does not require 
consideration this week, and should not take priority over the various 
serious issues our country currently faces.
  I urge my colleagues to vote against this bill and put our children 
first, not the dope dealers.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from California (Mr. Correa).
  Mr. CORREA. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the MORE Act.
  This legislation is a very simple but very important piece of 
legislation. It does three basic things.
  Number one, it legalizes cannabis by removing it from the Controlled 
Substance Act. Number two, it establishes a process to expunge 
cannabis-related convictions. Number three, it taxes cannabis.
  Mr. Speaker, it is time.
  Thirty-seven States in our Nation have already legalized cannabis. 
Even Canada has legalized cannabis, and other nations around the world 
are legalizing cannabis. Even the Israelis are selling cannabis-related 
medicine.
  It is time, Mr. Speaker.
  But this is just the start. Cannabis farmers can't enroll in crop 
insurance. They can't receive the official organic designation. They 
can't access USDA programs.
  Mr. Speaker, it is well beyond time. Please vote for this 
legislation. Vote for common sense. Let's vote for the MORE Act.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  In response to this bill helping farmers, I just want to say it does 
not. What it does is it puts a tax on top of their product. When added 
to the Oregon tax, it would be almost 30 percent. That does not 
encourage farmers to raise the crop because they can't compete against 
the black market. There has to be far more thought given to what will 
be an 8 percent additional cost.
  By the way, it is a gross receipts tax. It is on top of the gross 
receipts, not that net profit that you are supposed to get.
  Secondly, the bill, as written, fails to distinguish between hemp and 
marijuana. This must be done if the folks in each space are going to 
grow properly.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), the distinguished majority leader of the House.
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, Chairman Nadler, ranking members, this is an 
important piece of legislation. How do I know that? Because the people 
have told us that.
  Every time they have had the opportunity to vote in America, they 
have voted to do this. They know that filling our prisons and creating 
criminal records for people who use marijuana--and knowing full well 
that if they are people of color, the possibilities of adverse 
consequences are geometrically greater.
  I tell my colleagues, I am tired of hearing this argument that, ``Oh, 
my goodness, we are doing this. We ought to be doing something else.''
  We are all working on issues of great concern not only to us but to 
the global community: on the war in Ukraine; on the criminal activities 
that Putin is subjecting us to; on inflation, a critical problem for 
all of our people. We are working on that. We are having trouble 
getting some legislation in the Senate

[[Page H4094]]

that will bring down inflation and bring down costs for the American 
people--not on our side of the aisle.
  So, when I hear this argument, ``Oh, we ought to be doing this. We 
ought to be doing that. We ought to be doing the other,'' this is an 
important, fair piece of legislation, fair for the American people.
  I thank Chairman Nadler. I thank the Judiciary Committee. I thank 
Members on my side of the aisle. I thank Barbara Lee, who is walking 
down the aisle right now, who has worked so hard on this.
  Why did she work so hard on it? Because she knows the extraordinary 
unfairness of the application of existing laws. You don't have to argue 
that. Just look at the statistics, and you find that to be the case.
  Chairman Nadler has long been a champion of decriminalizing marijuana 
and addressing the systemic injustices and inequities resulting from 
the war on drugs. I was a supporter of the war on drugs. I have been 
here a long time.

  The gentleman who spoke about this as a gateway drug, it is not a 
gateway drug. I have been convinced of that.
  Marijuana has been legalized in 19 States. That is 40 percent of our 
States, save one, and the District of Columbia. Medical marijuana is 
legal in 36 States. This is not out of the ordinary. This is what the 
American people tell us they think is the appropriate thing to do.
  Now, for some in this House, those who are treated with inequality, 
particularly in this area, you are on your own. Make it out for 
yourself. We are not going to address it because we have other issues.
  Of course, we have other issues, and we pass bills on those--
unfortunately, not with much support from the other side of the aisle.
  Despite the changes in State laws and social norms around the usage 
of marijuana, its use remains illegal under Federal law. The gentleman 
who is presiding over the House today comes from a State that has said 
that is not good policy. Now, that is not some wacko coastal State. It 
is Colorado.
  Despite changes in State laws and social norms, as I have said, its 
use remains illegal under Federal law, often resulting in devastating 
consequences. Hear me, my colleagues: devastating consequences for 
Black, Latino, and Native communities.
  Now, I am not any of those. I would tell you, when I was in college 
in the 1800s, it was alcohol. We were not the generation of drugs; it 
was alcohol. It devastated the lives of literally hundreds of thousands 
of young people. But nobody cried out to make it illegal. They tried 
that, of course, in the twenties.
  According to the Center for American Progress, Black Americans are 
four times more likely than White Americans to be arrested for 
marijuana possession, even though they use it at similar rates.
  The gentleman who spoke asked why we are dealing with this. For the 
same reason our Founders said that we believe in equality, that all 
men--and they surely would add women today--are created equal and ought 
to be treated fairly and equally. Four times more convictions and 
prosecutions for people of color--that is why we are dealing with this, 
because it is unfair in America.
  Those criminal records can haunt people of color and impact the 
trajectory of their lives and careers indefinitely. I regret that there 
are some Members of our Congress who apparently think that is not 
worthy of attention.
  It can result in difficulty in finding employment, difficulty in 
finding housing, denial of access to government benefits, denial of 
financial aid at colleges and universities, and denial of the right to 
vote. That is why we are dealing with this, because the adverse 
consequences to people are substantial and negative, and negative not 
only for them but for our country.
  The legislation before us would remove marijuana from the list of 
scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, allowing our 
police departments--which we want to fund, by the way, so get off that 
line that we want to defund the police--allow our police departments to 
focus on serious crimes. The legislation before us would remove 
marijuana from that list.
  The bill already, by the way, includes a requirement that a study 
will be conducted to understand the societal impacts of decriminalizing 
marijuana, including the impact on juveniles, education, 
transportation, veterans, employment, and many others.
  This bill also expunges the records of individuals convicted of 
nonviolent--let me repeat that--nonviolent cannabis offenses and 
provides resources for job training, reentry services, and youth 
recreation and mentoring programs.
  Now, if you take the position that all of these people are on their 
own and want no help from us or get no help from us, then perhaps you 
don't care.
  This bill also addresses the disproportionate economic impact of the 
war on drugs by providing access to small-business grants, opening up 
the legal marketplace to communities that have been largely excluded.
  This bill is a matter of justice and equal opportunity. It is about 
addressing systemic inequities and reforming our criminal justice 
system so that Americans and America can become a better, stronger, 
more fair, and more just America.
  That is why we are spending time on this bill today.
  I thank my friend one more time, Chairman Nadler, for his leadership 
on this bill. I also thank Mr. Neal for helping us get this bill to the 
floor. I also thank Barbara Lee, my dear friend.
  Barbara Lee and I have been working for some years now on how to lift 
people out of poverty into the middle class. We talk a lot about the 
middle class, and the way you grow the middle class is to let people 
who aren't in it in it so they can contribute to making a better, 
stronger America.

                              {time}  1000

  This bill will help that because it will take the stigma away from 
four times as many people of color being stigmatized by our laws.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, support 
this bill. The people of Mississippi supported this bill when they went 
to the polls and voted--not on this bill, that is not accurate--but on 
the decriminalization of marijuana, because they knew that it was 
neither necessary to be criminalized, and they knew the adverse 
impacts.
  I don't ask you to support something the people of California did or 
the people of New York, or even Maryland, but think about supporting 
the people of Mississippi, who voted on a policy that would make a fair 
and more just America.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I want to mention that it was noted that we 
never asked the people if they would support legalization of marijuana. 
That is not correct. North Dakota Measure 3 failed. Missouri 
Proposition C to legalize marijuana failed. Ohio Issue 3 failed.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Latta).
  Mr. LATTA. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer a motion to recommit on behalf of 
members of our communities who have tragically lost their lives to 
substance use disorder, SUD.
  Prior to the COVID-19 public health emergency, our country faced a 
different kind of enemy that knew no bounds. This Chamber was once 
united in the battle against addiction. And I was proud of the 
legislative work we did to address this crisis most recently through 
the SUPPORT Act. Unfortunately, all the progress we made seemed to 
evaporate with the onset of the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns, 
mandates, social isolation, and fear of an invisible enemy.
  Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced 
that 105,752 Americans died from drug overdoses from October 2020 to 
October 2021.
  Let me repeat that: 105,752 Americans died from drug overdoses in one 
year's time.
  Many of these deaths can be directly attributed to fentanyl, which is 
now the leading cause of death in Americans aged 18 to 45. Down at our 
southern border, Customs and Border Protection are confiscating record 
amounts of fentanyl coming across the Mexican border.
  The CBP seized over 11,201 pounds of fentanyl from October 2020 to 
September 2021, which is a 41 percent increase from the year before. 
That is

[[Page H4095]]

enough fentanyl to kill 2.5 billion people, or the entire U.S. 
population, seven times over.
  To address this crisis, I introduced the HALT Fentanyl Act with my 
friend, the gentleman from the Ninth District of Virginia. This 
legislation will permanently schedule fentanyl-related substances as 
schedule I and enable researchers to continue to study schedule I 
substances for possible medical benefits. We must do everything we can 
to save lives, and I implore my colleagues to support this legislation.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Ohio.
  Mr. LATTA. Mr. Speaker, if we adopt the motion to recommit, I will 
instruct the Committee on the Judiciary to consider my amendment to 
H.R. 3617, to permanently place fentanyl-related substances in schedule 
I of the Controlled Substances Act.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the 
amendment in the Record immediately prior to the vote on the motion to 
recommit.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Ohio?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Velazquez).
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation 
because it is long overdue for our Federal laws to catch up with the 
legal reality in almost every State in the Union, and because Federal 
reform must place restorative justice as the top priority.
  I thank Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Nadler, and my fellow chairs for 
once again bringing this legislation to the House floor.
  Mr. Speaker, voters in States like New York have led the way in 
changing their cannabis laws, emphasizing restorative justice for our 
most marginalized communities. This bill takes a meaningful approach to 
undo the wrongs of the failed war on drugs by removing cannabis as a 
schedule I drug and encouraging States to expunge low-level possession 
records.
  Importantly, the MORE Act also helps entrepreneurs access affordable 
capital to start a legitimate business, which too often is a barrier to 
entrepreneurship for people of color regardless of industry.
  As chair of the Committee on Small Business, I am proud the MORE Act 
includes measures my colleagues and I championed to ensure SBA 
programs, like the flagship 7(a) Loan Program, the disaster loan 
program, and Small Business Development Center resources, are available 
to legitimate cannabis businesses. The MORE Act is the best proposal to 
ensure communities disproportionately impacted by the prohibition of 
cannabis are best positioned to profit from its legalization.
  Mr. Speaker, for that reason, I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes.''
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio 
(Mr. Jordan).
  Mr. JORDAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Record crime, record inflation, record gas prices, record number of 
illegal immigrants crossing our southern border.
  And what are Democrats doing today? Legalizing drugs; legalizing 
drugs and using American tax dollars to kick-start and prop up the 
marijuana industry. Wow. Such a deal for the American people. Every 
major urban area has increased crime, and Democrats are legalizing 
drugs and propping up the marijuana industry.

  Mr. Speaker, 40-year high inflation. It hasn't been this high since 
1982. We have some Members not even born then. Record inflation, and 
Democrats are focusing on legalizing drugs and kick-starting the 
marijuana industry.
  Record gas prices, $6 gas in California; $4 gas everywhere else, and 
Democrats are legalizing drugs and helping the marijuana industry.
  And, of course, 2 million illegal immigrants crossed our southern 
border in the last 14 months, and Democrats are legalizing drugs and 
helping the cannabis industry.
  Oh, and by the way, we could be focused on this issue: We have a 
Justice Department that is treating parents as domestic terrorists, 
spying on moms and dads who simply show up at school board meetings. We 
know that is going on, putting a threat tag label on parents, this 
designation, this label, on moms and dads simply standing up for their 
kids. And Democrats are focused on legalizing drugs and helping the 
cannabis industry.
  The Democrat majority leader said, Why are we dealing with this 
today? You know why they are dealing with this today? Because they 
can't deal with the real problems facing the American people. The left 
won't let them. You think the left is going to let them do what needs 
to be done to bring down gas prices?
  We sat in a hearing a few months ago. One of our Democrat colleagues 
in that hearing--we had the CEO of the oil and gas company--he went 
down the line and said, Will you pledge today to decrease production? 
They want less oil and gas. Literally, he went down the list. I said, 
What do you want, $8 gas? And the truth is, they do.
  The left will not let the Democrats do what needs to be done to the 
help the inflation problem, the energy problem, the illegal immigration 
problem on our southern border. So what do they do? They legalize 
drugs.
  Wow. Wow. This is wrong, and everybody knows it. Let's focus on the 
thing that matters for--as the majority leader said--for middle-class 
families who are having to drive to work, pick their kids up at school, 
take their kids to Little League practice, spending four and five bucks 
a gallon to get them there and back. Let's focus on the things that 
matter.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``no'' vote.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, this bill will greatly reduce crime by 
redefining as not crimes things that are now considered crimes. And by 
releasing people in jail who should not be in jail, it will produce 
justice and it will reduce the expenses to the public.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Lee), who has been such a great champion in the fight 
for this legislation.
  Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 
3617, the MORE Act.
  I thank Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, and Chairman Neal. And let me 
just thank Chairman Nadler for his persistence, his perseverance, and 
really hanging in there and bringing this to the floor, because he 
knows what the issues are, and he knows how important this is to repair 
the damage of the lives of so many people.
  Mr. Speaker, I also thank Congressman Blumenauer, my partner on so 
many issues and, of course, our Speaker pro tempore, Mr. Perlmutter, 
who is in the Chair today, and everyone who has helped to bring this to 
the floor.
  Mr. Speaker, my condolences today are with the family of our 
colleague, the late Representative Don Young, a champion on this issue. 
I honor his memory today as the founding member and co-chair of the 
Cannabis Caucus, who voted for the MORE Act the first time it came to 
the floor.
  Also, let me thank our advocates for educating the public on this 
issue, which, of course, helped our Members of Congress learn more 
about the importance of this, that this is also a racial justice bill. 
It is the product of the work of so many for a long time.
  Mr. Speaker, of course, I salute our staff, Amy, Julie, Samira, 
Gregory, Kayla--so many staff. As a former staff member, look, I know 
how this was done, so I thank our staff for really doing the heavy 
lifting on this.
  Mr. Speaker, the MORE Act, yes, it includes my legislation, the 
Marijuana Justice Act, and the REFER Act, which is the first marijuana 
racial justice bill introduced in Congress many years ago. This bill 
would end Federal prohibition and decriminalize cannabis by removing it 
from the list of the Controlled Substances Act. That is what the MORE 
Act does.
  Make no mistake, yes, it is a racial justice bill. According to the 
ACLU, Black Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested 
for cannabis-related crimes than White Americans, despite equal rates 
of use. These arrests can have a detrimental impact on a person's 
quality of life and can lead to difficulty finding employment.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentlewoman from California.

[[Page H4096]]

  

  Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, it is a multibillion-dollar 
industry also that brings tax revenue of billions to our States. Over 
950 are people arrested daily for marijuana-related offenses. This is 
truly unjust. So we must end this failed policy of marijuana 
prohibition, which has led to the shattering of so many lives, 
primarily Black and Brown people. And yes, that is extremely important.
  Mr. Speaker, it is time to repair the damage. It is time to provide 
equal justice for those who have been unduly incarcerated. Public 
opinion supports this.
  In fact, over 50 years ago, the National Commission on Marijuana and 
Drug Abuse, or the Shafer Commission, formally recommended to Congress 
this be done. We are doing it today.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer), another great champion of this legislation.

  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman for his 
courtesy and his leadership, and all the people that my friend, Barbara 
Lee, just acknowledged.
  Mr. Speaker, a century ago, we were in the midst of a prohibition 
against alcohol. And the problems that my dear friend from Oregon 
highlighted in terms of the prohibition against cannabis, I agree with 
him about the horrific situation in southern Oregon, and I look forward 
to working with him to try and remediate it. But the solution is to be 
found in this legislation.
  The problem of the cartels, the illegal activity, the black market, 
is a result of the fact that the Federal Government does not have its 
act together. People across the country have acted to take it into 
their own hands and, as a result, we have a piecemeal approach.
  Mr. Speaker, 48 States have some form of legalization. What Chairman 
Nadler and the committee has done is provide a framework to be able to 
harness the forces, to be able to do the research so we can deal with 
impairment. The Federal Government interferes with that now. We have an 
opportunity to solve the horrific problem of lack of access to banking 
services, which makes dispensaries across the country sitting ducks.
  It adds to expenses for minorities. It adds to the problems of law 
enforcement. We face a situation now of great racial injustice in this 
country that the legislation faces.

                              {time}  1015

  We have an opportunity to unlock untold benefits for more medical 
research and be able to channel the efforts into a legal matter, to be 
able to have a taxing system federally, and to be able to strengthen 
the legal cannabis market so that the profits flow to the people who 
should do it rather than the cartels and the corner drug dealers that 
are still cutting corners.
  My friend is right about the problems in southern Oregon, but he is 
wrong about the solution. The MORE Act is a solution to provide the 
framework, provide the research, redirect the resources to be able to 
solve the problem that has been created by the failed prohibition on 
cannabis.
  This is historic legislation, in part, because we will send this to 
the Senate where there is a different mindset for the leadership. We 
have opened the opportunity to solve these problems. I urge us to take 
advantage of it and move forward.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, to my friend and former law school classmate, 
Representative Blumenauer--he was a few years ahead of me--I just want 
to draw attention to the bill, page 15, where it calls out the 
expenditures. It says: The amounts in the trust fund shall be 
available, without further appropriation, only as follows. And then it 
reflects section 3052(a) part 00 of the Omnibus Crime Control Safe 
Streets Act of 1968, which I dug out and read through three times, 
looking unsuccessfully for an allocation of money to local law 
enforcement agencies, such as the ones in southern Oregon. It is not 
there. That money is going for very limited and very narrow purposes.
  How much money? Well, if this 8 percent tax had been applied to the 
amount of marijuana sold last year in the United States, the total is 
$400 million. That is not the total sold; it is the total tax, $400 
million, half of which would go to this narrow piece of work. I am not 
saying it is unimportant, but narrow.
  There is 50 percent called out here, then 10 percent, then 25 
percent, but none to police. What I am trying to say is, yes, you have 
taken this up--do it right. Get it right. And you have a whole bunch of 
work that needs to be done to get this bill right.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from New 
York (Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney).
  Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong 
support of the MORE Act and I applaud my colleagues, Chairman Nadler 
and Barbara Lee, for their leadership on this critical legislation.
  For years, public support for marijuana legalization has surged. 
Thirty-seven States have voted to legalize marijuana. It is past time 
that Congress answers the call for marijuana justice.
  This sweeping legislation would finally decriminalize cannabis at the 
Federal level by removing it from the Controlled Substance Act. The law 
would apply this retroactively to prior and pending convictions that 
have disproportionately harmed communities of color.
  The MORE Act would also help those whose convictions are overturned 
through the Opportunity Trust Fund that would provide job training, 
reentry assistance, legal aid, and healthcare.
  If we are serious about criminal justice, we need to get rid of the 
antiquated cannabis laws. The MORE Act would do just that. I hope my 
colleagues will join me in voting on this long overdue bill.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I just want to say again, I went down to southern Oregon 
and I asked the law enforcement folks what we needed to do to try to 
head off the cartels which are generating this huge sum of money for 
themselves. What could we do? And the answer was, law enforcement. If 
you don't have force, you can't control the cartels.
  To get law enforcement it requires people and that requires money and 
this bill doesn't allocate any for that purpose. Since we know this 
bill is going to drive up the cost of legal marijuana, thus driving 
more people into the black market, why isn't there more money for law 
enforcement? Why isn't there any money for law enforcement?
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Green).
  Mr. GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, and still I rise. I thank Mr. 
Nadler, Ms. Lee, and Mr. Perlmutter.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise because I see this as a bill that will benefit 
some of the least, the last, and the lost; people who have been denied 
access to housing, denied access to loans, denied access to things that 
we need to succeed in the United States of America.
  Mr. Speaker, I plan to support it. I ask that my colleagues support 
it because it is tough being a Black man with a criminal record in the 
United States of America. This bill will help a lot of Black men have 
opportunities that they have been denied.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Carter).
  Mr. CARTER of Louisiana. Mr. Speaker, the COVID pandemic has produced 
a rise in drug abuse, violent crime, and other indicators of collective 
trauma. These are pressing issues that urgently need resources devoted 
to them. We must stop wasting precious resources on marijuana offenses.
  Law enforcement simply cannot afford to chase small-time pot 
offenders while violent and random crime continues to be on the rise 
nationwide. The ACLU reports States are wasting billions annually 
enforcing cannabis laws. This is money, time, and effort better spent 
on investing in true community safety.
  Further, Americans overwhelmingly want marijuana reform and 91 
percent report that they believe that it should

[[Page H4097]]

be legalized. Congress is long overdue in marijuana reform and 
decriminalizing this substance, but we have a long journey ahead to 
achieve social justice and criminal justice reform.
  The war on marijuana is a costly relic of the past. Let's vote 
``yes'' today so we can build a safer and more equitable tomorrow.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I just want to assure everyone that the police in Oregon 
are not chasing those who are using marijuana. Oregon legalized 
marijuana. What we are having trouble with are the consequences of that 
legalization. That is what I am trying to bring to the attention of 
folks today that if we are going to legalize on a national scale then, 
for goodness' sake, don't make the mistakes we made in Oregon, get it 
right.
  Put into the bill appropriate funding for law enforcement. By the 
way, we should put in a lot of other things that I previously 
mentioned. One of the things that absolutely has to be there is funding 
for local police because this bill is going to drive up the demand for 
marijuana and up the cartels across the United States. It is bad and 
local law enforcement can't take care of it.
  The assertion that the FBI and Homeland Security and DEA are going to 
do so is incorrect. I know because I have asked. We have nothing from 
the Attorney General helping us in that space. So what I am saying is, 
if you are going to do this, get it right.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, Mr. Bentz refers to the cartels. Of course there are 
cartels. Of course they are making money because they have a monopoly 
of supply of a substance that has a great demand. If you pass this bill 
then those cartels will no longer have a monopoly and law enforcement 
expenses will go down because they will not have to enforce the 
marijuana laws and the marijuana prohibition laws. Nor will they have 
to fight the cartels, which won't be there anymore because their 
monopoly of supply will have been eliminated.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished gentlewoman from 
New Jersey (Mrs. Watson Coleman).
  Mrs. WATSON COLEMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman and I thank 
everyone that my colleague, Barbara Lee, acknowledged earlier.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the MORE Act and on behalf of 
the countless families that have been disrupted and destroyed by our 
Nation's failed drug policies and the devastating war on drugs.
  As a result of the war on drugs, the United States has a higher rate 
of incarceration than such human rights-abusing governments as Russia, 
Belarus, and Iran. It also wastes more money than any other country 
locking up its citizens for personal drug use.
  Racial justice and cannabis decriminalization are inextricably 
intertwined, and the former cannot be achieved without the latter. By 
decriminalizing cannabis, we can reverse the trend of over-
incarceration and get one step closer to dismantling the systemic 
racism so pervasive in our criminal justice system.
  The MORE Act is an important step in rewriting our future, and I urge 
my colleagues to support it.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair will advise the managers that Mr. 
Nadler has 2\3/4\ minutes and Mr. Bentz has 6\3/4\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I just want to mention in response to the assertion that 
once this bill passes, if it does, that suddenly the cartels will 
disappear. Sadly, that is not going to be true. That is because legal 
marijuana will be 30 percent more expensive than that which is raised 
on the black market. That is why one has to be aware when one puts this 
kind of additional cost into this bill, 8 percent on a gross basis, 
that people need to understand the difference between net profit and 
gross.
  What is going to happen is the cartels will have a 30 percent benefit 
advantage over privately raised marijuana. What I am trying to say is: 
Get this bill right. This isn't my thinking. This is people who looked 
into this extremely carefully and those that are trying to do this 
legally. I am saying this bill is incorrectly crafted on that level and 
many others.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky).
  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the chairman for his 
leadership, but I also want to recognize Representative Blumenauer for 
his decades of work on this issue.
  The MORE Act is the most comprehensive marijuana reform bill in 
Congress, and it is rooted in social justice. The criminalization of 
marijuana and this Nation's failed war on drugs has devastated our 
communities of color. It has led to over-policing, mass incarceration, 
and the destruction of families. This critical legislation takes steps 
to undo these harms.
  Today, I urge my colleagues to vote for criminal justice reform, to 
vote for an equitable marijuana industry, and to vote for beginning to 
repair the harms caused by decades of racist marijuana criminalization 
and enforcement.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all my colleagues today to vote ``yes'' on the 
MORE Act.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a list of multiple 
items:
  First, a policy statement from the American Academy of Child & 
Adolescent Psychiatry on Marijuana Legalization.
  Second, Facts for Families from the American Academy of Child & 
Adolescent Psychiatry on Marijuana and Teens.
  Third, the Insurance Information Institute report on marijuana and 
impaired driving.
  Fourth, an article from verywellhealth.com titled, ``Is Marijuana 
Addictive?'' by Ashley Olivine, Ph.D.
  Fifth, an NBC News article titled, ``Legalized marijuana linked to a 
sharp rise in car crashes.''
  Sixth, the Denver Post article titled, ``Are you high? The science of 
testing for marijuana impairment is hazy, and evolving.''
  Seventh, a Bloomberg article titled, ``U.S. Grapples With How to 
Gauge Just How High Cannabis Users Are.''

     [From the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry]

                         Marijuana Legalization

       The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 
     (AACAP) advocates for careful consideration of potential 
     immediate and downstream effects of marijuana policy changes 
     on children and adolescents. Marijuana legalization, even if 
     restricted to adults, may be associated with (a) decreased 
     adolescent perception of marijuana's harmful effects, (b) 
     increased marijuana use among parents and caretakers, and (c) 
     increased adolescent access to marijuana, all of which 
     reliably predict increased rates of adolescent marijuana use 
     and associated problems. Marijuana use during pregnancy, 
     occurring at increasing rates, raises additional concerns 
     regarding future infant, child, and adolescent development.
       AACAP is aware that, among hundreds of chemical 
     constituents, marijuana contains select individual compounds 
     that, if safely administered in reliable doses, may 
     potentially convey therapeutic effects for specific 
     conditions in specific populations. Advocacy regarding 
     potential cannabinoid therapeutics, alongside social justice, 
     public policy, and economic concerns, have contributed to 
     marijuana policy changes. Amid these factors, AACAP remains 
     focused on concerns regarding adolescent marijuana use.
       Adolescents are especially vulnerable to marijuana's many 
     known adverse effects. One in six adolescent marijuana users 
     develops cannabis use disorder, a well characterized syndrome 
     involving tolerance, withdrawal, and continued use despite 
     significant associated impairments. Selective breeding has 
     increased marijuana's addictive potency and potential harm to 
     adolescents. Heavy use during adolescence is associated with 
     increased incidence and worsened course of psychotic, mood, 
     anxiety, and substance use disorders. Furthermore, 
     marijuana's deleterious effects on adolescent cognition, 
     behavior, and brain development may have immediate and long-
     term implications, including increased risk of motor vehicle 
     accidents, sexual victimization, academic failure, lasting 
     decline in intelligence measures, psychopathology, addiction, 
     and psychosocial and occupational impairment.
       Marijuana-related policy changes, including legalization, 
     may have significant unintended consequences for children and 
     adolescents. AACAP supports (a) initiatives to increase 
     awareness of marijuana's harmful effects on adolescents, (b) 
     improved access to evidence-based treatment for adolescents 
     with marijuana-related problems, and (c) careful monitoring 
     of the effects of marijuana-related policy changes on child 
     and adolescent mental health. Finally, AACAP strongly 
     advocates for the involvement of

[[Page H4098]]

     the medical and research community in these critical and 
     highly impactful policy-related discussions.
                                  ____


                          Marijuana and Teens

       Many teenagers try marijuana and some use it regularly. 
     Teenage marijuana use is at its highest level in 30 years, 
     and today's teens are more likely to use marijuana than 
     tobacco. Many states allow recreational use of marijuana in 
     adults ages 21 and over. Recreational marijuana use by 
     children and teenagers is not legal in anywhere in the United 
     States. Today's marijuana plants are grown differently than 
     in the past and can contain two to three times more 
     tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that makes people 
     high. The ingredient of the marijuana plant thought to have 
     most medical benefits, cannabidiol (CBD), has not increased 
     and remains at about 1 percent.
       There are many ways people can use marijuana. This can make 
     it harder for parents to watch for use in their child. These 
     include:
       Smoking the dried plant (buds and flowers) in a rolled 
     cigarette (joint), pipe, or bong
       Smoking liquid or wax marijuana in an electronic cigarette, 
     also known as vaping
       Eating ``edibles'' which are baked goods and candies 
     containing marijuana products
       Drinking beverages containing marijuana products
       Using oils and tinctures that can be applied to the skin
       Other names used to describe marijuana include weed, pot, 
     spliffs, or the name of the strain of the plant. There are 
     also synthetic (man-made) marijuana-like drugs such as ``K2'' 
     and ``Spice.'' These drugs are different from marijuana and 
     are more dangerous. Additionally, the products being sold in 
     dispensaries currently are not subject to Food and Drug 
     Administration standards and are not purely isolated 
     cannabinoids; they are therefore not reliable in their 
     potency/concentration of CBD or THC, or the inclusion of 
     other ingredients.


                         Parents and Prevention

       Parents can help their children learn about the harmful 
     effects of marijuana use. Talking to your children about 
     marijuana at an early age can help them make better choices 
     and may prevent them from developing a problem with marijuana 
     use later. Begin talking with your child in an honest and 
     open way when they are in late elementary and early middle 
     school. Youth are less likely to try marijuana if they can 
     ask parents for help and know exactly how their parents feel 
     about drug use.
       Tips on discussing marijuana with your child:
       Ask what they have heard about using marijuana. Listen 
     carefully, pay attention, and try not to interrupt. Avoid 
     making negative or angry comments.
       Offer your child facts about the risks and consequences of 
     smoking marijuana.
       Ask your child to give examples of the effects of 
     marijuana. This will help you make sure that your child 
     understands what you talked about.
       If you choose to talk to your child about your own 
     experiences with drugs, be honest about why you used and the 
     pressures that contributed to your use. Be careful not to 
     minimize the dangers of marijuana or other drugs, and be open 
     about any negative experiences you may have had. Given how 
     much stronger marijuana is today, its effect on your child 
     would likely be much different than what you experienced.
       Explain that research tells us that the brain continues to 
     mature into the 20s. While it is developing, there is greater 
     risk of harm from marijuana use.
       Sometimes parents may suspect that their child is already 
     using marijuana. The following are common signs of marijuana 
     use:
       Acting very silly and out of character for no reason
       Using new words and phrases like ``sparking up,'' ``420,'' 
     ``dabbing,'' and ``shatter''
       Having increased irritability
       Losing interest in and motivation to do usual activities
       Spending time with peers that use marijuana
       Having trouble remembering things that just happened
       Carrying pipes, lighters, vape pens, or rolling papers
       Coming home with red eyes and/or urges to eat outside of 
     usual mealtimes
       Stealing money or having money that cannot be accounted for


                          Effects of Marijuana

       Many teenagers believe that marijuana is safer than alcohol 
     or other drugs. When talking about marijuana with your child, 
     it is helpful to know the myths and the facts. For example, 
     teenagers may say, ``it is harmless because it is natural,'' 
     ``it is not addictive,'' or ``it does not affect my thinking 
     or my grades.''
       However, research shows that marijuana can cause serious 
     problems with learning, feelings, and health.
       Short-term use of marijuana can lead to:
       School difficulties
       Problems with memory and concentration
       Increased aggression
       Car accidents
       Use of other drugs or alcohol
       Risky sexual behaviors
       Worsening of underlying mental health conditions including 
     mood changes and suicidal thinking
       Increased risk of psychosis
       Interference with prescribed medication
       Regular use of marijuana can lead to significant problems 
     including Cannabis Use Disorder. Signs that your child has 
     developed Cannabis Use Disorder include using marijuana more 
     often than intended, having cravings, or when using 
     interferes with other activities. If someone with Cannabis 
     Use Disorder stops using suddenly, they may suffer withdrawal 
     symptoms that, while not dangerous, can cause irritability, 
     anxiety, and changes in mood, sleep, and appetite.
       Long-term use of marijuana can lead to:
       Cannabis Use Disorder
       The same breathing problems as smoking cigarettes 
     (coughing, wheezing, trouble with physical activity, and lung 
     cancer)
       Decreased motivation or interest which can lead to decline 
     in academic or occupational performance
       Lower intelligence
       Mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, depression, 
     anxiety, anger, irritability, moodiness, and risk of suicide


                           Medical Marijuana

       Some teens justify use of marijuana because it is used for 
     medical purposes. Marijuana use with a prescription for a 
     medical reason is called ``medical marijuana.'' Laws for 
     medical marijuana are rapidly changing and are different from 
     state to state. In some states, children of any age can get 
     medical marijuana if they have a ``qualifying medical 
     condition.'' There is very limited research supporting use of 
     medical marijuana in children or teens for most conditions. 
     In most states that allow medical marijuana, the marijuana is 
     not regulated and therefore is not checked for ingredients, 
     purity, strength or safety. There is no evidence that medical 
     marijuana is any safer than other marijuana.


                           Cannabidiol (CBD)

       Many parents have questions about CBD and how it may be 
     helpful for their child. There is ongoing research on the use 
     of CBD-containing products for conditions such as epilepsy, 
     PTSD, Tourette's disorder, pain, and other diagnoses. For 
     now, the use of CBD is only FDA-approved in children for 
     specific forms of epilepsy and in adults for chemotherapy 
     induced nausea and vomiting. At this time, there is not 
     enough evidence to recommend CBD for other uses, in children 
     and adolescents including the treatment of autism and other 
     developmental disorders. The approved CBD requires a 
     prescription. Many stores sell CBD products. However, there 
     are no safety and quality requirements for non-prescription 
     CBD. They may have harmful additives or interfere with 
     prescription medication. If you are considering using CBD for 
     your child, please discuss this with their physician prior to 
     starting to prevent harmful effects.


                               Conclusion

       Marijuana use in teens can lead to long-term consequences. 
     Teens rarely think they will end up with problems related to 
     marijuana use, so it is important to begin talking about the 
     risks with your child early and continue this discussion over 
     time. Talking with your child about marijuana can help delay 
     the age of first use and help protect their brain. If your 
     child is already using marijuana, try asking questions in an 
     open and curious way as your teen will talk more freely if 
     not feeling judged. If you have concerns about your child's 
     drug use, talk with your child's pediatrician or a qualified 
     mental health professional.
                                  ____


       [From the Insurance Information Institute, June 24, 2021]

             Background On: Marijuana and Impaired Driving


                                overview

       More states are passing legislation permitting medical and/
     or recreational marijuana use, which raises concerns about 
     users driving under the influence of marijuana. This piece 
     will discuss:
       Marijuana consumption and characteristics of marijuana 
     impairment; Marijuana legalization's impact on auto 
     accidents; Difficulties related to measuring user impairment; 
     and Insurance impacts.


                         historical perspective

       Marijuana is a type of hemp plant of the species Cannabis 
     sativa L., part of the genus Cannabis L. Unlike industrial 
     hemp, however, marijuana contains appreciable arnounts of 
     delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive 
     cannabinoid--it's the active chemical that induces user 
     intoxication. The plant also contains several other, non-
     psychoactive cannabinoids such as ``cannabidiol'' (CBD).
       There is evidence that cannabis has been consumed for 
     thousands of years, often for medicinal purposes. The plant 
     was used as a patent medicine in the U.S. since at least 
     1850, when the United States Pharmacopoeia described the 
     plant for the first time. Cannabis was first regulated under 
     federal law under the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
       Marijuana was subsequently subjected to countrywide 
     prohibition under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 
     (CSA), which established a schedule for substances regulated 
     under federal law. Marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug 
     under the CSA, which defines Schedule I drugs as substances 
     that have ``no currently accepted medical use in the United 
     States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical 
     supervision, and a high potential for abuse.'' Other 
     substances under Schedule I include heroin, LSD, and peyote.
       Despite the treatment of marijuana under federal law, in 
     1996 California became the first state in the U.S. to pass 
     legislation permitting a medical marijuana program. By

[[Page H4099]]

     April 2021, 36 states and the District of Columbia have 
     passed legislation permitting so-called ``comprehensive'' 
     medical marijuana programs, which typically allow qualifying 
     patients to access marijuana and marijuana-related products.
       Since 2012, 18 states and the District of Columbia have 
     passed legislation permitting anyone over the age of 21 to 
     possess and use marijuana, subject to certain limitations. 
     Most of those states also have or are developing regulations 
     for a commercial market to support recreational marijuana 
     sales.


                          marijuana impairment

       The THC in marijuana plants causes intoxication in a user. 
     (THC levels in other hemp plants are typically so low that 
     they cannot induce intoxication.)
       Effects of marijuana consumption can vary. Marijuana can 
     affect users differently, depending on a variety of factors, 
     including user tolerance. Common experiences intoxicated 
     include feelings of euphoria and relaxation; some may also 
     experience heightened sensory perceptions and altered 
     perceptions of time.
       Marijuana cannot cause overdose, but can potentially cause 
     temporary psychosis. There are no documented instances of an 
     adult dying from an overdose of marijuana alone. However in 
     rare instances a user may experience a psychotic reaction to 
     the drug or high levels of anxiety--in some cases, these side 
     effects could lead a user to seek medical treatment. Such 
     negative effects are often experienced after consuming edible 
     marijuana products, which are often more potent and take 
     longer to induce intoxication.
       Method of consumption alters impairment profile. Several 
     factors influence intoxication onset, intensity, and 
     duration, including method of consumption, type of marijuana 
     product consumed, product potency, and user characteristics.
       Marijuana and related products can be consumed in several 
     ways, including inhalation (either by smoking or vaporizing) 
     of dried plant matter or concentrates (such as hashish or 
     kief), oral ingestion (edibles, capsules, infusible oils), 
     sublingual ingestion (lozenges), or topical application 
     (lotions, salves, oils).
       Smoking often causes almost immediate intoxication, with 
     impairment typically lasting 2 to 4 hours. Intoxication onset 
     is more delayed for other methods, sometimes up to two hours 
     for edibles--and impairment may last much longer.
       Product potency is dependent on THC levels. Potency varies 
     considerably across marijuana products and can influence the 
     degree of impairment. Smokable marijuana plant matter can 
     range anywhere from 8 percent to 30 percent THC, whereas 
     high-quality hash oil up to 80 percent THC. There is evidence 
     that marijuana products have become more potent over time.
       User characteristics will also influence impairment. For 
     example, chronic users may experience less acute impairment 
     than non-chronic users.


                     marijuana and impaired driving

       Marijuana intoxication can cause impaired driving, thereby 
     increasing the risks of accidents. Marijuana legalization is 
     associated with an increase in impaired driving.
       Marijuana impairment degrades cognition and motor skills. 
     Marijuana alters a user's perception. As such, most studies 
     agree that marijuana use results in impaired coordination, 
     memory, associative learning, attention, cognitive 
     flexibility, and reaction time. Driving ability is thereby 
     degraded to some degree--but by how much remains a matter of 
     study and is subject to several factors, including the level 
     of impairment and user characteristics.
       For example, there is some evidence that user impairment 
     may also result in limited ``compensatory defensive'' 
     driving, in which a user drives more carefully to compensate 
     for a degradation in motor functioning--but this may only 
     mitigate degradation for some skills and may not apply to 
     non-chronic users.
       Marijuana impairment increases the risk of accidents. 
     Nonetheless, the evidence suggests that acute impairment 
     increases the risk of traffic accidents--though the magnitude 
     of the increased risk is still a matter of study and can vary 
     widely, depending on the study.
       One literature review found evidence that 20 to 30 percent 
     of crashes involving marijuana occurred because of the 
     marijuana use. (This compares to roughly 85 percent of 
     crashes involving alcohol that occurred because of alcohol 
     use.) The review estimated that the crash risk increased 22 
     percent while under the influence of marijuana, controlling 
     for concurrent alcohol use.
       Another review found that someone driving under the 
     influence of marijuana is 1.65 times more likely to be 
     culpable in a fatal accident.
       The greater the impairment, the worse the driving 
     abilities. As noted above, level of impairment can influence 
     the degree to which driving ability degrades. Indeed, there 
     is evidence that the more impaired the driver, the worse 
     their driving abilities.
       Mixing marijuana and alcohol produces additive effects. 
     There is evidence that mixing marijuana and alcohol increases 
     impairment greater than the net effects of each individual 
     substance. There also may exist the possibility for alcohol 
     to increase THC levels. Potential compensatory defensive 
     driving is nullified when a user mixes alcohol and marijuana.
       The number of crash rates could increase after 
     legalization. Researchers at the Insurance Institute for 
     Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute 
     (HLDI) since 2014 have been examining how legalization has 
     affected crash rates and insurance claims, and evidence is 
     emerging that crash rates go up when states legalize 
     recreational use and retail sales of marijuana. The most 
     recent of these studies released in June 2021 by the IIHS, 
     shows that injury and fatal crash rates in California, 
     Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington jumped in the months 
     following relaxation of marijuana laws in each state. The 
     five states experienced a 6 percent increase in injury crash 
     rates and a 4 percent increase in fatal crash rates, compared 
     with other Western states where recreational marijuana use 
     was illegal during the study period.
       However, only the increase in injury crash rates was 
     statistically significant. These findings are consistent with 
     a 2018 IIHS study of police-reported crashes, most of which 
     did not involve injuries or fatalities. This study found that 
     legalization of retail sales in Colorado, Oregon 
     andWashington was associated with a 5 percent higher crash 
     rate compared with the neighboring control states.
       Fatal crashes involving drivers who tested positive for THC 
     have increased. Some studies indicate that more people with 
     ``detectible'' levels of THC in their bloodstreams were 
     involved in fatal accidents after legalization. However, as 
     discussed below, the mere presence of THC does not 
     necessarily indicate marijuana impairment. Furthermore, 
     regarding fatal crash rates overall, at least one study found 
     no significant annual changes in crash fatality rates 
     forColorado and Washington when compared to 8 control states.
       A 2020 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows 
     that the percentage of drivers in Washington involved in 
     fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana increased 100 
     percent after the state made the drug legal for recreational 
     use. The study considered the presence of detectable THC in 
     the blood of fatal-crash-involved drIvers. In general, the 
     presence of detectable THC in blood suggests, but does not 
     conclusively prove, that a person has recently used cannabis.
       Collision claim frequency appears to have increased. 
     Insurance records show an increase in claims under collision 
     coverage, which pays for damage to an at-fault, insured 
     driver's own vehicle, according to HLDI's latest analysis, 
     The legalization of retail sales in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, 
     and Washington was associated with a 4 percent increase in 
     collision claim frequency compared with the other Western 
     states from 2012 to 2019. The 4 percent decline is down 
     slightly from the 6 percent increase HLDI identified in a 
     previous study, which covered 2012 to 2018.
       Higher risk demographics also have higher rates of 
     marijuana-impaired driving. Younger drivers are at greater 
     risk of traffic accidents than older drivers. Younger male 
     drivers are at high risk of traffic accidents. Early evidence 
     suggests that younger male drivers are most likely to drive 
     under the influence of marijuana.
       Use of recreational marijuana impairs driving even when the 
     driver is not high. A study published in the journal Drug and 
     Alcohol Dependence suggests that chronic, heavy use of 
     recreational marijuana impairs driving skills even when the 
     driver is not high. The researchers used a driving simulator 
     to evaluate the potential impact of cannabis use on driving 
     performance. The study concluded that driving impairment was 
     significantly worse among the study participants who began 
     using marijuana regularly before age 16. The study, by 
     researchers at Harvard Medical School's McLean Hospital, 
     found that cannabis users hit more pedestrians, exceeded the 
     speed limit more often, and drove through more red lights 
     compared with non-users. At the time of the study, the 
     marijuana users had not used for at least 12 hours and were 
     not intoxicated.


             Determining intoxication: ``THC persistence''

       A key issue raised in many studies examining the effects of 
     marijuana-impaired driving and its risks is ``THC 
     persistence.'' Unlike alcohol, THC levels in a user's body 
     may not be an accurate indication of impairment.
       Compared with marijuana, determining alcohol intoxication 
     is relatively straightforward. The human body processes 
     alcohol at a rate that allows blood alcohol concentration 
     (BAC) to closely correlate with intoxication, making it an 
     effective and accurate benchmark for measuring impairment.
                                  ____


                            [Feb. 17, 2022]

                        Is Marijuana Addictive?

                    (By Ashley Olivine, Ph.D., MPH)

            (Medically reviewed by Isaac O. Opole, MD, PhD)

       In light of the legalization of marijuana, many people have 
     wondered about the substance, its safety, and whether it's 
     addictive. Marijuana--also called weed, cannabis, and other 
     names--is a species of plant that is used as a medical and 
     recreational drug.
       People can become addicted to marijuana. While it is 
     possible to try and use the substance without becoming 
     addicted, that is not the case for everyone. There are risks 
     of use, even medicinally, and addiction is one of them.
       Like any drug used medicinally, the potential risks of use 
     are weighed against the potential benefits when deciding what 
     should

[[Page H4100]]

     and should not be tried. Learn more about marijuana 
     addiction, risk factors, effects on the brain, and more.


                        Is marijuana addictive?

       While some people can try and use marijuana without 
     becoming addicted, it can also be addictive for some people. 
     Marijuana use disorder, also known as cannabis use disorder, 
     is when the use of marijuana negatively impacts a person's 
     health or life but they continue to use it anyway.
       Although the numbers are not entirely known, it is 
     estimated that 6.3 percent of adults have experienced 
     marijuana use disorder, and that percentage is increasing. As 
     many as 30 percent of people who use marijuana may experience 
     marijuana use disorder. Marijuana use can also be associated 
     with addiction and dependency.


                        Addiction vs. Dependency

       Addiction and dependency are two terms that are often used 
     interchangeably. There are differences between the two.
       Addiction happens when a person uses a substance such as 
     alcohol, marijuana, or another drug in excess. It is usually 
     marked by a change in behavior, where the person becomes 
     consistently focused on using that substance regardless of 
     potential negative outcomes. Addiction can be physical, 
     psychological, or both at the same time.
       Substance dependence, also called chemical dependence, is 
     when a person experiences physical dependence on a substance 
     but is not addicted to it. One example is when a person who 
     has taken a prescription medication for a long time stops 
     taking that medication and experiences physical or mental 
     withdrawal symptoms. Dependence symptoms can be cognitive, 
     behavioral, and physical. Dependence presents as a pattern. A 
     person first uses a substance such as marijuana repeatedly. 
     After regular use over time, they build a tolerance, where 
     the effects of the substance are not noticed as much or at 
     all. The person experiences symptoms when they stop using the 
     substance, which makes them feel the need to use it again.


                   Symptoms of Cannabis Use Disorder

       Cannabis use disorder, or marijuana use disorder, is when a 
     person continues to use the substance even though they 
     experience negative health or life effects from use. Symptoms 
     include excessive focus on marijuana use; ignoring school, 
     work, or relationships; other problems caused by marijuana 
     use such as an inability to resist cravings; and more. These 
     can range from mild to severe depending on the person.


                          Symptoms may include

       Changes in sleep, appetite, or mood.
       Cravings to use marijuana.
       Decreased control of marijuana use.
       Decreased fulfillment of responsibilities.
       Decline in school, work, or athletic performance.
       Headache, abdominal pain, chills, or sweating when not 
     using.
       Needing to use more to get the same effect.
       Negative feelings associated with use.
       Overuse of marijuana and using more than intended.
       Risk-taking behaviors.
       Social withdrawal related to marijuana use.


                              Risk Factors

       One of the biggest risk factors of marijuana addiction may 
     be age. People are up to seven times as likely to experience 
     marijuana use disorder when they start using before the age 
     of 18. Additionally, men are twice as likely as women to 
     experience marijuana use disorder.


                       Other risk factors include

       Family history of substance use disorder.
       Friends and peers who use marijuana.
       Adverse childhood experiences such as sexual abuse.
       Use of cigarettes.
       Teenage Drug Addiction: A Complete Guide.
       Effect on the Brain.
       Marijuana use has a negative impact on the brain. THC, 
     which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the part of the 
     cannabis plant that causes the mental effect. THC can cause 
     changes to the brain that impact the structure and ability to 
     function, including learning, memory, cognitive ability, and 
     behavior--including future substance use. This is an 
     increased concern for younger people exposed to THC, 
     including babies during pregnancy.
       The use of marijuana has also been found to be connected 
     with lower IQ scores, compromised memory and cognitive 
     ability, and decreased performance on tests. The negative 
     effects of use appear to be more of an issue for those who 
     use more often and over a longer period of time. However, 
     research is limited and the details of the negative effects 
     on the brain are not fully understood.


                  Is recreational marijuana to blame?

       The negative effects of marijuana are not limited to 
     recreational marijuana. Medicinal marijuana use comes with 
     risks too. Like other medicinal treatments for medical 
     conditions, medicinal marijuana can have negative effects 
     even though it is used to treat medical conditions.
       Additionally, over 80 percent of people who use medicinal 
     marijuana also use it recreationally. This can lead to more 
     use and an increased risk of marijuana use disorder.
       Medicinal Use of Marijuana.
       Medicinal marijuana is used to treat and manage a variety 
     of medical concerns, including physical and mental health 
     challenges. Despite the risks, studies of medicinal marijuana 
     use have shown effectiveness. Nearly 90 percent of people who 
     use medicinal marijuana claim that it helps them to manage 
     their disease and symptoms, and many find that they are able 
     to decrease their use of other medications.


     The Debate Over the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Use

       Conditions commonly treated with medical marijuana include:
       Alzheimer's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (ALS), 
     Anxiety, Cancer chemotherapy side effects, Crohn's disease, 
     Depression, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Inflammation, Multiple 
     sclerosis muscle symptoms, Nausea and vomiting, Pain, Post-
     traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, Seizures and epilepsy, 
     Marijuana Addiction Criteria.
       The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health 
     Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) classifies the diagnostic 
     criteria for cannabis use disorder. Use of the substance must 
     be associated with impairment or distress. Diagnosis of this 
     condition requires at least two of the 11 criteria within one 
     year.


                  Cannabis Use Disorder DSM-5 Criteria

       More use than intended.
       Unable to decrease use despite desire or effort.
       Excessive time spent on activities related to use, 
     including getting access and recovering.
       Urges or cravings.
       Work, school, or home obligations not fulfilled due to use.
       A problem of social or interpersonal problems associated 
     with use and continued use.
       Withdrawal from social, work, or recreational activities 
     due to use despite importance.
       Physically hazardous use.
       Knowingly experiencing problems associated with use and 
     continued use.
       Tolerance, defined by either needing more to get the effect 
     or decreased effect with the same amount.
       Withdrawal, defined by either DSM-5 cannabis withdrawal 
     symptoms or use of a substance to address symptoms of 
     withdrawal.


                     Help for Cannabis Use Disorder

       Cannabis use disorder is treatable. This condition can be 
     diagnosed by a healthcare professional such as a medical 
     doctor or psychologist. Treatment methods include 
     psychotherapy (talk therapy) and medications. More 
     specifically, motivational interviewing, contingency 
     management, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be 
     used. Medications to control cravings may be used alongside 
     nonmedicinal interventions.


                         Substance Use Helpline

       If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or 
     addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health 
     Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline for 
     information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
       For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline 
     Database.
                                  ____


                     [From NBC News, Oct. 18, 2018]

       Legalized Marijuana Linked to a Sharp Rise in Car Crashes

                        (By Paul A. Eisenstein)

       There has been an increase by up to 6 percent in the number 
     of highway crashes in four of the states where the 
     recreational use of marijuana has been legalized, according 
     to a pair of new studies.
       The new reports do not prove there's a direct risk caused 
     by the use of marijuana among motorists, but they raise 
     caution flags, especially since there is no easy way to test 
     drivers to be sure if they are, in fact, under the influence 
     of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, said David 
     Harkey, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway 
     Safety's Highway Loss Data Institute.
       ``It's certainly early in the game,'' Harkey told NBC News. 
     But, he warned, ``We're seeing a trend in the wrong 
     direction.''
       There are now 30 states that have legalized the use of 
     marijuana for medical purposes, with Oklahoma the most recent 
     to join the list. Nine states and the District of Columbia 
     now have legalized recreational use. With a Gallup poll 
     showing 64 percent public support, more states are set to 
     follow, including Michigan, where recreational use is on the 
     November ballot.
       Since the legalization wave began, safety and health 
     experts have been trying to measure the potential influence 
     on highway safety, though the results so far have been 
     inconsistent and, in some cases, contradictory.
       But this is the second year in a row where the IIHS found a 
     troubling trend. A year ago, the non-profit group looked at 
     three states, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. This year, it 
     added Nevada to the list. Harkey said the IIHS also looked at 
     highway crash data in surrounding states to try to control 
     for factors like weather and the economy.
       The studies looked at police reports and insurance claims, 
     finding crashes rose between 5.2 percent and 6 percent in 
     states with legalized recreational marijuana compared to 
     neighboring states where such use remained illegal.
       The IIHS also conducted a street-side study of marijuana 
     use and found something Harkey said he saw as particularly 
     concerning. While those under the influence of alcohol tend 
     to either be driving alone or with other adults, about 14 
     percent of those confirmed to be using pot had a child in 
     their vehicle. That reflects the fact, he added, that 
     marijuana use isn't confined to evenings and other times when 
     adults are more likely to drink--and abuse--alcohol.

[[Page H4101]]

       What is unclear is whether that reflects the increasing use 
     of recreational pot or the consumption of medical marijuana 
     to deal with issues like pain or glaucoma, something a 
     patient may time to need.
       Harkey cautioned there are limits to what the studies show. 
     There is a ``correlation,'' reflecting the fact that crashes 
     rose once pot became legal, but that is not the same as 
     ``causation,'' he added, meaning other, unseen factors could 
     be at work.
       That could help explain why earlier studies have often 
     conflicted over the effects of marijuana on highway safety. 
     One, released by the University of Colorado in 2014, showed a 
     surge in fatalities involving stoned drivers. But a study 
     conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety 
     Administration in Virginia a year later found no clear 
     increase in risk.
       Part of the problem is that it is difficult to accurately 
     measure how pot impacts drivers. ``Many studies, using a 
     variety of methods, have attempted to estimate the risk of 
     driving after use of marijuana,'' a NHTSA report advised 
     Congress last year. ``While useful in identifying how 
     marijuana affects the performance of driving tasks, 
     experimental and observational studies do not lend themselves 
     to predicting real-world crash risk.''
       Police have a particularly difficult challenge because of 
     the way marijuana works in the body. Blood alcohol levels 
     provide a direct correlation showing how much a motorist has 
     had to drink, with those levels dropping rapidly as someone 
     sobers up. But while THC levels spike after smoking weed or 
     eating a consumable, the psychoactive ingredient remains in 
     the body for weeks, long after it has stopped having any 
     impact.
       With so many more states set to permit the use of the drug, 
     Harkey said regulators, law enforcement, and medical 
     authorities need to address ``the challenge'' and come up 
     with better ways of determining when a driver might be 
     operating under the influence of marijuana.
                                  ____


                 [From the Denver Post, Aug. 25, 2017]

 Are You High? The Science of Testing for Marijuana Impairment Is Hazy, 
and Evolving. Lawmakers, Police, Prosecutors Grapple With How To Define 
                         Marijuana Impairment.

                           (By David Migoya)

       There was a time when marijuana was illegal everywhere and 
     testing for it was as easy as could be.
       It didn't matter the level of cannabinoids found in a 
     person's body. If it was there, they were breaking the law.
       It's different now.
       The tests have changed from depositing a urine sample into 
     a cup to drawing blood or offering oral fluids. Also 
     different is the particular type of cannabinoid--the chemical 
     compound that reacts in the brain--detected by any of those 
     tests.
       The evolving science of testing for marijuana, and the lack 
     of consensus over how to measure impairment, is a defining 
     feature of the drug. It separates marijuana from alcohol and 
     creates challenges for lawmakers, police and prosecutors, not 
     to mention users.
       The issue is critical as the state moves forward in 
     determining how to handle driving under the influence of pot. 
     A Denver Post investigation found that the numbers of drivers 
     in fatal crashes testing positive for marijuana--though not 
     necessarily high--is rising sharply, and coroners are finding 
     higher levels of potency in their tests.
       The cannabinoid most widely tested for in the past--known 
     as carboxy THC--is actually an inactive metabolite that only 
     indicates prior marijuana use, sometimes as long as a month 
     ago. In time, other metabolites of THC--short for 
     tetrahydrocannabinal, the psychoactive ingredient in 
     marijuana--were found to be better indicators of recent use 
     and, some say, impairment.
       ``Urine testing was established many years ago, and, at the 
     time, a test was developed to look for carboxy THC since it's 
     what's there in the highest amount,'' said Sarah Urfer, 
     president and owner of ChemaTox, a Boulder lab that handles 
     DUI screening for about three quarters of the law enforcement 
     agencies in Colorado. ``Nobody thought it mattered what you 
     were looking for . . . . Early on, scientists didn't know for 
     sure which of the cannabinoids were responsible for 
     impairment. They'd measure carboxy and try to correlate it to 
     impairment.''
       But THC is not the same as alcohol. It reacts differently 
     in the body, it metabolizes differently and its impairing 
     impact is different. Unlike the 0.08 blood-alcohol level 
     that's widely accepted as indicative of drunken driving, 
     establishing a credible level for THC has been elusive.
       It is generally accepted that two standard drinks--about 1/
     2 ounce of alcohol--in an hour will raise someone's blood-
     alcohol level to 0.05, approaching the legal limit. One drink 
     is a 12-ounce beer, a 1.5-ounce shot of distilled spirit, or 
     a 6-ounce glass of wine.
       For pot, the differences are striking since it depends on 
     the manner ingested--smoked, edible, concentrate--and how 
     much. A Johns Hopkins University study from 1995 found that 
     four puffs of smokable marijuana with 1.75 percent THC 
     content translates to 57 nanograms per milliliter, and 10 
     puffs as much as 99 ng/mL. The National Highway Traffic 
     Safety Administration says levels of 100-200 ng/mL are 
     ``routinely encountered'' after smoking but quickly 
     dissipate. Concentrate levels for vapor ingestion are 
     typically higher, as well as for edibles, although the rate 
     of distribution into the blood varies considerably.


                          feds question tests

       NHTSA last month acknowledged these gray areas in a report 
     to Congress that not only called into question the 
     reliability of tests to find THC but also noted the problem 
     with determining whether a driver is too stoned to be behind 
     the wheel.
       In fact, the NHTSA report notes that even though ``research 
     has demonstrated the potential of marijuana to impair 
     driving-related skills,'' it lays out a number of other 
     studies that show pot might not be as bad as the better-
     understood effects of alcohol on driving.
       ``Many studies, using a variety of methods, have attempted 
     to estimate the risk of driving after use of marijuana,'' the 
     NHTSA report noted. ``While useful in identifying how 
     marijuana affects the performance of driving tasks, 
     experimental and observational studies do not lend themselves 
     to predicting real-world crash risk.''
       Finding THC isn't so difficult. Making any kind of 
     universally accepted determination from the results, however, 
     seems to freeze the legal world in its tracks.
       ``Testing for THC in whole blood isn't actually that 
     hard,'' Urfer said. ``Where the issue comes is with 
     interpretation and roadside testing.''
       Some widely cited studies have offered differing 
     information about the impact of marijuana on driving. And not 
     all sides agree which studies are right and which are not.
       In 2012, a medical study published in Clinical Chemistry 
     journal found ``cannabis smoking increases lane weaving and 
     impaired cognitive functions,'' and that certain THC 
     concentration levels ``are associated with substantial 
     driving impairment, particularly in occasional smokers.''
       Then came a University of Colorado study--released in 2014, 
     the year recreational sales of the drug were launched in the 
     state--that found the proportion of drivers involved in fatal 
     crashes who tested positive for marijuana use had risen to 10 
     percent in 2011, up from 5.9 percent in 2009.
       But in 2015, NHTSA released a study it conducted in 
     Virginia that concluded marijuana users had the same chance 
     of crashing as sober drivers. At nearly the same time, the 
     Washington Traffic Safety Commission said it believed 
     marijuana doubles the risk of being in a fatal crash.
       Where experts say impairment becomes most noted and is most 
     alarming to law enforcement because of its prevalence is the 
     use of alcohol with marijuana, apparently heightening the 
     effects of each.
       In Colorado last year, nearly 36 percent of all drivers 
     involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana 
     use also had consumed alcohol, according to the Colorado 
     Department of Transportation.
       ``We're in the infancy with this, and it's very much an 
     unknown since we don't have the data.'' Greenwood Village 
     Police Chief John Jackson said. ``We spent 25 or 30 years 
     figuring out where we were are with alcohol, and finally got 
     to breathalyzers. There is no field test for marijuana yet. 
     You will not convince those who believe it's safer that it's 
     not. It becomes so emotional to the point of irrational.''


                          differing approaches

       Colorado has established that a THC level of 5 ng/mL is 
     enough to charge someone with DUI. Unlike alcohol, where a 
     reading of 0.08 is enough to convict someone of drunken 
     driving--known as per se evidence that a driver is impaired--
     THC levels are only considered as ``permissible inference'' 
     of impairment.
       That means that despite the level of Delta-9 THC found in a 
     driver's blood, a Colorado jury or judge decides whether the 
     driver was impaired or not.
       Washington and Montana, unlike Colorado, treat the same 5 
     ng/mL level of THC as if it were alcohol, where no other 
     proof of impairment is needed to convict a driver charged 
     with DUI. However, 12 states--including Arizona and Utah--
     have zero-tolerance policies, so any detectable amount of THC 
     can lead to a conviction.
       In its recent report to Congress, NHTSA questioned the THC 
     levels states use to charge someone with impaired driving, 
     calling them ``artificial.''
       ``A number of states have set a THC limit . . . indicating 
     that if a suspect's THC concentration is above that level, . 
     . . then the suspect is to be considered impaired,'' the 
     agency said in its report. ``This per se limit appears to 
     have been based on something other than scientific 
     evidence.''
       Urfer agreed.
       ``Permissible inference is a government-derived number that 
     was part of the discussion around legalization.'' said Urfer, 
     who spoke before the committees that prepared for Amendment 
     64, the voter initiative that legalized recreational 
     marijuana use in Colorado. ``I've always said 5 (ng/mL) was a 
     bad number.''
       That's because of how THC works its way through a person's 
     system, Urfer said, noting that if a single number had to be 
     used, then using none at all makes the best sense ``since 
     it's already illegal to drive when under the influence of a 
     drug.''
       ``Impairment drops off over the next two to four hours,'' 
     she said of marijuana use. ``The levels of THC drop off 
     astronomically fast. But that drop-off in blood is 
     distributing into the brain and the muscles of the body. And 
     impairment comes from the brain.''
       That means blood levels of THC are probably far lower at 
     the time a test is done than

[[Page H4102]]

     at the time of a crash or other traffic infraction. Yet, the 
     THC is still in the driver's system--just not in their blood. 
     That's led lawyers and others to contend that someone isn't 
     actually impaired if their THC level is below 5 ng/mL.
       ``The public is misinterpreting the statement that you 
     can't tell if someone's high because of the THC level,'' 
     Urfer said. ``You can't directly correlate a number to 
     impairment. The blood level for THC does not represent the 
     same as alcohol does.''
       THC levels hit their peak nearly instantaneously at the 
     time someone uses marijuana and dissipate very quickly. 
     What's detected in the blood is typically much lower than it 
     had been at the time of use, especially when a sample is 
     taken long after a crash occurs.
       ``The level in the blood is dropping, but the level in the 
     brain is not,'' Urfer said. ``The high is caused by the level 
     in the brain, not in the blood. And no one has published a 
     study that says it's safe to drive high.''
       As expected, there has been strong push-back from the 
     marijuana industry, which says the only thing understood 
     about THC levels is that very little is understood.
       ``There needs to be better understanding about what 
     constitutes impairment,'' said Kristi Kelly, executive 
     director of the Marijuana Industry Group, a Colorado trade 
     organization. ``The science on cannabis metabolism doesn't 
     support the legal 5 ng/mL limit in Colorado, which can be 
     present for days and weeks after consumption.''
       Roadside testing could be improving, with the advent of a 
     saliva test that could bring more immediate and reliable 
     information about the level of active THC in a person's 
     system. The Colorado State Patrol has been using it in 
     preliminary tests to determine its reliability.
       ``The inference is that at or above 5 (ng/ml.), you're 
     high, but there should be no inference that below 5 you're 
     sober,'' Urfer said. ``But people genuinely believe they can 
     use an impairing substance, feel high and still think they 
     can be safe to drive. They rationalize: `Marijuana is legal. 
     Why can't I drive on it?' They say it all the time. It's 
     odd.''
                                  ____


                  [From Bloomberg News, Jan. 24, 2022]

    U.S. Grapples With How To Gauge Just How High Cannabis Users Are

                           (By Tiffany Kary)


               Impairment tests are becoming big business

       ``Walk a straight line'' isn't going to cut it anymore as 
     police and employers grapple with growing use of marijuana.
       Earlier this month, a study in a peer-reviewed journal 
     became the latest sign that there's a paradigm shift going on 
     in the nascent business of detecting impairment levels. The 
     article, which appeared Neuropsychopharmacology, showed that 
     an imaging technique can detect cannabis impairment with 76% 
     accuracy. That's better than the 68% accuracy of field tests 
     that employ traditional law enforcement protocols such as 
     walking a straight line and examining a subject's pupils.
       The technique, called functional near-infrared 
     spectroscopy, measures changes in the prefrontal cortex of 
     the brain. It shows that impaired brains look different than 
     non-impaired brains in a way that doesn't necessarily 
     correlate with the amount of THC in a person's system. THC 
     detection in saliva or on the breath has so far been the main 
     focus of tests. The study was carried out on 169 people at 
     Massachusetts General Hospital, which is part of Harvard 
     Medical School.
       The study is a big deal for the cannabis industry, since 
     the lack of a clear test to gauge intoxication has become a 
     stumbling block for federal legalization. Though links 
     between marijuana and accidents have been hard to draw due to 
     factors such as the frequent mixing of alcohol with drugs, 
     the study estimates that THC, which is the psychoactive 
     ingredient in cannabis, at least doubles the risk of fatal 
     motor vehicle crashes.
       The research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice has 
     acknowledged that field sobriety tests and THC levels are 
     unreliable measures of marijuana intoxication. Methods like 
     the ``one-leg stand'' and ``walk 11d turn'' weren't affected 
     by marijuana highs, and some people had poor functions even 
     when their THC levels were low.


                            states' efforts

       States have forged ahead nevertheless. According to New 
     Frontier Data, at least five opted protocols that set a legal 
     limit for driving based on the level of THC in the body. That 
     has sparked a lot of interest in tests that can actually 
     measure that level--a scientific challenge unto itself.
       ``Everybody wants a cannabis breathalyzer--something like 
     what we have for alcohol where you breathe into a device and 
     it tells a THC level and whether that means you're impaired 
     or not,'' said Jodi Gilman, an associate professor in 
     psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the 
     imaging study. ``But that's not how it works for cannabis, we 
     need a new paradigm.''
       Companies have been trying to crack the stoned-test for a 
     while. Hound Labs, which makes a marijuana breathalyzer, said 
     in September it had raised $20 million to scale its product. 
     Cannabix Technologies, Inc. recently reported it had made 
     headway creating a more portable device, while Lifeloc 
     Techtologies Inc. said it was finalizing the platform for a 
     rapid marijuana breathalyzer that could be used for roadside 
     testing.
       There are concerns, however, that tests based on THC levels 
     may be unfair to those their system but aren't actually 
     impaired. This can be the case for some who consumed cannabis 
     days ago, or with frequent users who've built up a 
     tolerance--who may use it for medical reasons.
       ``You wouldn't want to penalize that person,'' Gilman told 
     me. ``What this technology will do is differentiate impaired 
     from not-impaired, which is different than distinguishing 
     cannabis from no-cannabis.''


                             Impairment app

       One company that uses a similar approach is Cambridge, 
     Massachusetts-based Impairment Science, which has an app 
     called Druid to measure response times and motor skills 
     through a series of tests on a screen. The methods let the 
     app gauge impairment, regardless of whether the cause was 
     alcohol, marijuana, or something else. The company aims to 
     raise as much as $1.2 million in seed funding, according to 
     Chief Executive Officer Robert Schiller.
       Druid is being pitched to construction companies, and 
     Impairment Science recently struck a deal with Anheuser-Busch 
     InBev SA's Grupo Modelo, which will promote the app in an 
     effort to reduce drunk driving in the Mexican state of 
     Zacatecas. Schiller said the company plans to announce more 
     corporate partnerships in the near future.
       Still, there are no easy solutions. Druid's app requires 
     that people take the test more that once in order to gauge 
     impairment compared to a baseline score. The company is 
     researching a product where tests could be one-offs, which 
     would appeal to law enforcement.
       The method used by Gilman also has its limitations. It 
     relies on an imaging device from NirX Medical Technologies, 
     which still costs around $40,000.
       For better or worse, the techniques used by Gilman's study 
     and Druid's app will also pick up forms of impairment that 
     arise from issues other than marijuana, such as fatigue, 
     illness or chronic medical conditions. That could be a good 
     thing for public safety--especially at a time where 
     perception-altering drugs like psilocybin are on the rise, 
     and other drugs like opiates also create risks in driving and 
     high-risk industries--but it could create other problems.
       It's not hard to envision a future where people could be 
     taken aside and wired up for a quick scan that checks their 
     brain for telltale signs of impairment. Then comes the real 
     work: Employers, insurers and police will have to figure out 
     what to do with the information.


                           Number of the week

       The number of U.S. states that have zero-tolerance laws 
     prohibiting driving with any amount of THC or its metabolites 
     in the body, according to New Frontier Data.


                           Quote of the week

       ``Cannabis definitely impacts areas of the brain that 
     affect decision making and impulse control. And that's very 
     much what driving is,'' said Rebecca Siegel, a clinical 
     psychiatrist and author of the book ``The Brain on Cannabis: 
     What You Should Know About Recreational and Medical 
     Marijuana.''


                         What you need to know

       Eleusis, a health-care company focused on using psychedelic 
     drugs as medicines, is going public through a merger with a 
     blank-check firm.
       Thailand plans to remove marijuana from its list of 
     controlled substances, paving the way to decriminalization.
       Mississippi could be the next state to put a cannabis law 
     on the books.
       A New Hampshire court found that a worker who was fired 
     after he told his employer he started using cannabis when his 
     doctor prescribed it for PTSD may have a viable claim under 
     state disability bias law.
                                  ____

  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Nevada (Ms. Titus).
  Ms. TITUS. Mr. Speaker, the MORE Act is a historic piece of 
legislation, no question about it. It removes criminal convictions for 
marijuana use that have stigmatized the lives of thousands of 
individuals in our country, particularly those of color. In addition, 
tragically, our veterans have been denied access to medical marijuana 
for treatment of pain management and also post-traumatic stress 
syndrome after they have offered their lives and put their lives in 
danger for us.
  Supported by public vote, Nevada legalized medical marijuana in 2001, 
decriminalized marijuana use in 2017, and has shown that regulating 
marijuana works. Most of the other States have done the same, so it is 
time for the Nation to follow suit.

                              {time}  1030

  With the passage of the MORE Act, the marijuana industry can become a 
key element of growing and diversifying our economy, creating more good 
jobs, and putting more folks back to work as we recover from the 
pandemic.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote on the bill.

[[Page H4103]]

  

  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3617, the 
Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021, or the 
MORE Act of 2021.
  I am pleased to support this long-overdue measure and encourage my 
colleagues to do the same.
  I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the MORE Act, which is an 
important step in our continuing efforts to reform the criminal justice 
system, and I commend our Chairman for introducing this bill once 
again.
  To summarize, the provisions of the MORE Act fall into three main 
categories--federal decriminalization, taxation, and expungement.
  First, the bill would remove marijuana, or cannabis, from the list--
or schedule--of Federally controlled substances. This means that, going 
forward, individuals could no longer be prosecuted, federally, for 
marijuana offenses. This does not mean that marijuana would now be 
legal throughout the United States--the bill would simply remove the 
Federal government from the business of prosecuting marijuana cases and 
would leave the question of legality to the individual States.
  Those states choosing to decriminalize can do so, without ongoing 
interference from the Federal government, and those states that choose 
to continue to make marijuana illegal can continue to do so, as well.
  Second, the bill would establish a taxation structure to collect a 
sales tax on marijuana, which, over the course of five years would 
increase from five to eight percent. The funds collected from this tax 
would be used to establish a trust fund to reinvest in communities 
ravaged by the War on Drugs, particularly communities of color.
  The trust fund would be used for rehabilitation and reentry programs 
in the Department of Justice and for programs in the Small Business 
Administration to ensure that participants in the burgeoning marijuana 
market are diverse and provide opportunities for entrepreneurship in 
communities that have been adversely impacted by the War on Drugs.
  Finally, the bill would expunge and seal Federal marijuana arrests 
and convictions and resentence offenders, as appropriate--a much-needed 
measure of this bill to attempt to undo some of the damage done to 
black and brown communities by decades of unjust enforcement.
  Thousands of men and women have suffered needlessly from the federal 
criminalization of marijuana, particularly in communities of color, and 
have borne the burden of collateral consequences that have damaged our 
society across generations, such as the denial of affordable housing, 
educational opportunities, and employment.
  The laws enacted for the purpose of perpetuating the ``War on Drugs'' 
have led America to imprison more people than any other country.
  Expunging and sealing the arrest and conviction records of people 
affected by the cannabis laws would remove barriers that helped create 
a permanent second-class status for millions of Americans.
  Our outdated federal laws and policies unwisely require scarce law 
enforcement resources to be expended on cannabis offenses while 
conflicting with many states' laws regarding cannabis.
  Cannabis does not fit the definition of a Schedule One drug and 
federal law must be updated to reflect this reality--just as most 
states have already begun to do.
  Public support for legalization has surged.
  Thirty-seven states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam 
have adopted laws allowing legal access to cannabis. And eighteen 
states, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands have 
adopted laws for legalizing cannabis for adult recreational use.
  A total of 47 States have reformed their laws in one form or another 
pertaining to cannabis, despite its continued Federal criminalization.
  The State legal-cannabis industry already employs almost a quarter of 
a million people, and the federal government needs to get out of the 
way of state-level decision making.
  We need to open the door to research, therapeutic treatment for 
veterans, better banking and tax laws, and we need to help fuel 
economic growth within the industry.
  We need to do all of this without continuing to spend federal 
resources on criminalization and unjust incarceration for marijuana 
offenses. Congress needs to pass the MORE Act.
  That is why I support passage of this bill today and ask my 
colleagues to do so, as well.
  I thank our Chairman Jerry Nadler, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and 
Congressman Earl Blumenauer for their commitment to this potentially 
life-changing bill.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record Health Affairs' 
``Culture of Health,'' which shows the importance of cannabis 
liberalization policy, and a letter from all of these individuals, 
religious groups, and the Center for American Progress.

                    [From HealthAffairs, July 2021]

        Cannabis Liberalization in the US: The Policy Landscape

       The cannabis--or marijuana--policy landscape has shifted 
     rapidly in past decades, with increasing numbers of states 
     decriminalizing cannabis possession and legalizing its 
     medical and recreational uses. Yet under federal law, 
     cannabis remains prohibited because of the potential for drug 
     misuse and negative health consequences. This disconnect 
     between federal and state law has allowed a for-profit 
     commercial industry to flourish in many states, absent 
     consistent regulation to ensure product safety. Increasing 
     cannabis accessibility in the states thus raises important 
     public health concerns while expanding certain therapeutic 
     opportunities. A second Health Affairs Health Policy Brief 
     accompanying this one explores the health effects of cannabis 
     legalization. It is also important to understand the 
     framework of policies governing legal cannabis markets, as 
     each policy category likely has differential impacts on 
     health benefits and harms associated with canna-bis use and 
     inconsistencies across jurisdictions have important 
     population health implications.


                        Federal Cannabis Policy

       The US federal government began taxing cannabis production 
     and sales by enacting the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 only 
     after most states had prohibited the substance. In 1970, this 
     law was replaced by the Controlled Substances Act, which 
     designates marijuana as a Schedule I substance considered to 
     have high abuse potential and no accepted medical use. Under 
     federal law, the production, sale. possession. and 
     distribution of cannabis can carry fines and prison time.
       During the Obama administration, the federal government 
     relaxed its enforcement of cannabis-related crimes. In a 
     series of executive actions, culminating in the 2013 Cole 
     memorandum, the Department of Justice deprioritized 
     prosecution of federal cannabis crimes in states where these 
     activities were legal and robustly regulated. First passed in 
     2014, the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment prohibited the use of 
     federal funds to prosecute medical cannabis-related 
     activities permissible under state law.
       Other recent federal actions have further facilitated 
     access to cannabis plant derivatives. although these differ 
     from the botanical products and simple extracts that tend to 
     dominate state cannabis markets. The Food and Drug 
     Administration (FDA) approved several synthetic 
     tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products in 1985 and 2016. each of 
     which was placed on a higher controlled substance schedule 
     than cannabis. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, a substance 
     extracted from the cannabis plant that contains only 0.3 
     percent THC. Also in 2018. the Drug Enforcement 
     Administration designated FDA-approved cannabis-derived 
     cannabidiol (CBD) products containing no more than 0.1 
     percent THC as Schedule V substances.
       Under this authority, the FDA approved the first CBD 
     product, Epidiolex, to treat childhood seizures.


                Evolution of the State Policy Landscape

       Public support for the legalization of cannabis use in the 
     US rose from 12 percent to 66 percent between 1969 and 2019. 
     Concurrently, states liberalized their approaches to cannabis 
     markets. Four central policy categories have evolved: 
     prohibition, decriminalization, medical legalization, and 
     recreational (also known as adult use) legalization. 
     Decriminalization regimes were generally adopted first (in 
     the 1970s-1980s, with a resurgence in the 2010s). 
     Decriminalization laws were later complemented by medical 
     legalization or replaced by recreational legalization. 
     Exhibit 1 shows the current status of these four policies, 
     and exhibit 2 depicts state adoption of legalization policies 
     for medical and recreational cannabis since 1996.
     Prohibition
       States began prohibiting cannabis cultivation, 
     distribution, and possession in the early twentieth century. 
     By 1937, every state had some form of cannabis legislation, 
     often motivated by concerns (largely unsubstantiated by 
     scientific evidence at the time) that cannabis products were 
     psychologically addictive, produced insanity, and motivated 
     crime. Although liberalization policies have largely replaced 
     prohibitions, two states--Idaho and Kansas--still ban 
     cannabis in all forms and assign criminal penalties for the 
     possession of even small amounts. Another ten states permit 
     the use of ``low-THC, high-CBD'' products but maintain 
     prohibitions and criminal penalties for all other cannabis 
     activities (included in the ``prohibition'' category in 
     exhibit 1).
     Decriminalization
       Decriminalization is the repeal of criminal penalties 
     associated with cannabis possession for personal use and 
     casual exchange (that is, not sales). ``Depenalization'' 
     policies that lower these penalties without removing them do 
     not qualify as decriminalization regimes. Decriminalization 
     also differs from the nonenforcement policies adopted in 
     several US cities, where enforcement of low-level cannabis-
     involved offenses is deprioritized. Decriminalization falls 
     short

[[Page H4104]]

     of legalization because it still prohibits and criminally 
     penalizes cannabis cultivation, production, and sales and 
     maintains civil penalties for possessing cannabis. Since the 
     1970s, states have increasingly adopted decriminalization 
     policies. By 2020, sixteen states had such a policy (exhibit 
     1). The laws vary along several dimensions, including the 
     levels of civil fines, penalties for repeat offenses, and 
     threshold amounts of cannabis that are exempt from criminal 
     penalties.
     Medical Cannabis Legalization
       Medical cannabis laws typically permit patients with 
     ``qualifying conditions'' certified by a medical professional 
     to purchase cannabis at dispensaries operating within the 
     state. Medical cannabis laws differ from low-THC and high-CBD 
     laws, which only legalize the supply and use of cannabis 
     products with low THC content. The most common qualifying 
     condition for which medical users can be certified is chronic 
     pain, although states regularly add conditions to their 
     lists. Since California passed the first medical cannabis law 
     in 1996, the number of jurisdictions adopting such programs 
     has grown steadily (exhibit 2). Today, more than two-thirds 
     of Americans live in one of the thirty-six states and four 
     territories that have approved medical cannabis use (exhibit 
     1).
       The first medical cannabis laws passed (1996-2000) were 
     vague and defined medical use broadly. Although laws passed 
     between 2000 and 2009 offered more regulatory guidance over 
     the legal supply chain, laws passed or modified in more 
     recent years (2009-17) feature more comprehensive regulatory 
     programs that prioritize product safety. Still, the vast 
     majority of participants in medical cannabis programs are in 
     what are considered ``nonmedicalized programs,'' which lack 
     components consistent with evidence-based medicine and 
     pharmaceutical regulation (for example, testing and labeling) 
     and are largely divorced from medical practice. Ways in which 
     current laws differ from each other include the qualifying 
     conditions approved, channels of access {dispensaries, 
     collective versus home cultivation, and so on), registration 
     card renewal requirements, and use by patients from other 
     states.
     Recreational Cannabis Legalization
       Recreational cannabis laws remove the criminal and civil 
     penalties associated with supply or possession of the 
     substance by adults ages twenty-one and older. These laws 
     typically allow individuals to grow four to six cannabis 
     plants and limit possession and purchase to one to two 
     ounces; most also impose at least a 10 percent retail excise 
     tax on sales. Most states with recreational laws prohibit the 
     use of cannabis while operating a motor vehicle, although 
     four states have specific per se THC limits while driving.
       Legalization of recreational use is a relatively new 
     phenomenon. In 2012, Colorado and Washington were the first 
     jurisdictions globally to allow adult cultivation and 
     possession of cannabis. In 2020, fifteen states and 
     Washington, DC, had laws that legalize adult cannabis supply 
     and possession in some form (exhibit 1), resulting in more 
     than one-third of the US population having legal access to 
     the substance. With the exception of Illinois and Vermont, 
     all laws passed through 2020 have advanced via ballot 
     measures rather than through the legislature.
       States have choices in their recreational cannabis 
     regulatory regimes. Most states have opted for a commercial 
     model, wherein private industry is allowed to produce, 
     supply, and sell cannabis subject to regulation at the state 
     and sometimes local levels. Washington, D.C., uniquely does 
     not allow for commercial production or retail sale but, 
     rather, permits only small amounts of cannabis for personal 
     possession, use, and cultivation. Although Vermont originally 
     prohibited commercial sale, the state authorized the 
     establishment of a commercial retail market in October 2020. 
     Factors that can vary within commercial regimes include how 
     producers and suppliers are regulated, the types of products 
     that may be distributed, taxes, prices, marketing 
     restrictions, and ways in which products can be used or 
     personally cultivated.
       States that enacted recreational legalization laws saw 
     declines in adult cannabis-related arrests, although racial 
     disparities in those arrests persist. Some cannabis 
     policies, including the 2021 New Mexico, New York, and 
     Virginia legalization initiatives, incorporate reforms to 
     address harms experienced by communities 
     disproportionately affected by cannabis criminalization. 
     Some laws include provisions to expunge or pardon 
     cannabis-related minor offenses Other states have 
     initiated programs to increase minority participation in 
     the legal market. Some jurisdictions have earmarked tax 
     revenue generated from cannabis sales to support 
     socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.


                  Policy Challenges And Opportunities

       Limited national regulation of cannabis, the persistent 
     divide between national and state policy, and the growth of 
     state cannabis markets present numerous challenges for 
     population health, in part because the safety of many 
     cannabis products is uncertain and varies from state to 
     state. A dearth of federal regulation around cannabis 
     products has resulted in an unevenly regulated for-profit 
     industry that generates high profits and maintains 
     substantial control over marketing, promotion, and products 
     supplied.
       Cannabis's Schedule I designation under federal law poses 
     additional challenges. It hinders the research into the 
     safety and adverse effects of cannabis-based products that 
     would be required for FDA approval. It also restricts 
     cannabis supplied for clinical trials to that which comes 
     from federal sources, which fails to reflect the potency and 
     type of products actually marketed in the states, although 
     the Drug Enforcement Administration is poised to approve 
     several manufacturers' applications to cultivate marijuana 
     for research needs. Institutions for higher education may be 
     reluctant to allow cannabis to be used in research on their 
     campuses for fear of losing federal funding. Cannabis 
     consumers remain uncertain over the stability of their supply 
     chain and risks that they may be prosecuted under federal law 
     or become ineligible for federal benefits. Finally, cannabis 
     cultivators and distributors face barriers accessing 
     financial services, given that the banking industry is 
     subject to federal laws, resulting in an inability to design 
     investment and growth strategies that could enhance the 
     legitimacy of the industry and safety of the products.
       The lack of comprehensive, consistent oversight of cannabis 
     products and the disconnect between federal and state policy 
     suggest a number of important considerations for policy 
     makers.
     Enhanced Federal Oversight of Product Safety and Development
       Several options exist to improve federal oversight of 
     cannabis markets and products and to better align national 
     and state policies. Modifying cannabis's classification in 
     the Controlled Substances Act would facilitate enhanced 
     product safety research at the federal and state levels, 
     relax consumer and industry fears of criminal prosecution, 
     and facilitate legitimate financial transactions for cannabis 
     companies. It also would provide federal policy makers with 
     additional regulatory controls, such as premarketing 
     approval, which is currently unavailable for substances 
     designated as Schedule I, and would acknowledge cannabis's 
     medical benefits This modification could be accomplished by 
     amending the Controlled Substances Act to remove cannabis 
     from Schedule I and moving it to a higher schedule; 
     descheduling cannabis altogether, but having it meet the 
     threshold for FDA oversight, similar to nicotine and tobacco 
     products; or creating a new schedule for cannabis that 
     distinguishes it from other Schedule I substances. The 
     Medical Marijuana Research Act recently approved by the US 
     House of Representatives promotes cannabis research by 
     allowing scientists to access cannabis from state-level 
     dispensaries. Federal policy makers could also further 
     facilitate state regulation of cannabis supply by passing 
     legislation that restricts federal prosecutorial interference 
     with state cannabis markets.
       Notwithstanding the above changes, the FDA already 
     possesses some regulatory powers to enhance the safety of 
     cannabis products. Under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 
     1938 and Section 351 of the Public Health Service Act as 
     affirmed in the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA can regulate 
     cannabis-containing and cannabis-derived compounds. Under 
     this authority, the FDA has taken particular interest in 
     overseeing the science and safety of CBD products. Of concern 
     are health claims made by some cannabis product manufacturers 
     and the introduction of foods containing THC or CBD into 
     interstate commerce--both of which are areas under FDA 
     jurisdiction. The agency could take more aggressive action 
     than issuing warning letters to questionable (CBD-related 
     commercial practices and could extend the rigor of its 
     investigations into THC products. For example, it could limit 
     the allowable THC content, which is concerningly high in many 
     cannabis products and is capable of inducing dependence or 
     cannabis use disorder.
     State Strategies for Overseeing Cannabis Product Safety
       Without changes in the federal regulatory architecture or 
     enhanced FDA oversight, states that move forward with 
     legalization must carefully consider how to safely oversee 
     cannabis markets.
       Medical and recreational legalization have encouraged a 
     proliferation of product forms. Data from early 
     recreationally legalized states suggest that although the 
     flower of the plant still accounts for the largest proportion 
     of the market, heterogeneous extracts for inhalation are the 
     fastest-growing market segment. Cannabis products vary not 
     only in form but also in the potency of THC, CBD, and other 
     cannabinoids, as well as in the types and amounts of 
     pesticides and other impurities. Cannabis food and drink 
     products pose unique regulatory challenges. The health risks 
     associated with edibles, including for minors, likely result 
     from minimal consistency across products relating to potency, 
     inaccurate labeling, and the fact that many edibles contain 
     multiple servings of the advised THC dose. Further, users may 
     fail to appreciate the delayed effects of ingestion compared 
     with inhalation.
       State legalization provides an opportunity for enhanced 
     regulatory oversight that can improve the safety of legal 
     cannabis products and limit the health risks and other risks 
     associated with the illegal marketplace. Policy makers can 
     consider ways to align legal cannabis markets with public 
     health strategies gleaned from tobacco and alcohol, such as 
     minimizing youth advertising exposure, restricting sale and 
     marketing locations, and requiring childproof packaging. 
     Frameworks could also consider medical and recreational 
     legalization regimes that adopt safety standards, for 
     instance, by limiting the concentration of THC

[[Page H4105]]

     in products to levels not associated with dependence.
     Standards for Medical Training
       Despite the increasing prevalence of cannabis use in states 
     with and without legalization, many physicians do not receive 
     training on the potential health benefits and harms of 
     medical and recreational cannabis. To address this gap, 
     states could mandate that state-licensed physicians complete 
     continuing medical education credits on medical cannabis use 
     before certifying patients for medical cannabis registration. 
     Medical schools and residency programs could also design 
     coursework on the biochemical effects, clinical relevance, 
     and legal evolution of cannabis policy. These education 
     activities could be regularly updated with emerging evidence 
     on the health effects of cannabis. Outreach could extend to 
     patients and the public to inform them of the evidence-based 
     therapeutic uses of cannabis. All such training would be 
     better informed by enhanced research, as discussed above.
     Considerations for Criminal Justice and Racial Equity
       As cannabis liberalization progresses throughout the 
     country, states must address the collateral consequences of 
     cannabis-related criminal justice contact. Although states 
     with legalization and, to a lesser degree, decriminalization 
     regimes have experienced overall declines in arrests for 
     cannabis across racial groups, disparities in arrests across 
     races remain notable. Although cannabis-related arrests 
     decreased by 18 percent during the past decade, a Black 
     person is still nearly four times more likely to be arrested 
     for cannabis possession than a White person.
       Cannabis policy reforms that aim to address criminal 
     justice and social disparities warrant consideration. 
     Cumbersome and expensive expungement processes, significant 
     entry obstacles associated with the legal market, and 
     declines in price that in turn reduce funds earmarked for 
     community programs threaten initiatives that address harms 
     produced by cannabis criminalization. As states begin to 
     implement social equity measures, they should carefully 
     assess which communities have been disproportionately harmed 
     by cannabis prohibition; how to encourage equitable, 
     sustainable participation in the cannabis industry--including 
     training and business support; and how earmarked cannabis 
     revenue will be disseminated to equity-enhancing initiatives.


                               Conclusion

       Cannabis policy liberalization provides opportunities for 
     therapeutic benefit but also presents the potential for 
     health harms, the full consequences of which remain unknown, 
     given the nascency of the research and inconsistency in 
     findings (see the accompanying Health Affairs Health Policy 
     Brief) For policy makers considering reforms, policy choices 
     extend beyond blunt categories of prohibition, 
     decriminalization, medical legalization, and recreational 
     legalization and involve decisions related to the panoply of 
     regulatory provisions that govern legal and illegal cannabis. 
     The specifics of how to implement and enforce cannabis policy 
     and regulation are important to health, and researchers 
     should endeavor to evaluate these nuances as well as the 
     broader policy categories. Some states have included within 
     their legalization initiatives provisions requiring policy 
     evaluation. For example, Washington State earmarked cannabis 
     tax revenue to fund a continuous cannabis research program. 
     Other states, including Vermont and New York, reviewed the 
     potential impacts of regulating a recreational cannabis 
     supply chain before policy reform. More efforts such as these 
     will help to unpack the independent and comparative health 
     harms and benefits of various cannabis policy regimes and 
     regulatory approaches.
                                  ____

                                                    March 1, 2022.
     Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
     Washington, DC.
     House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer,
     Washington, DC.
     Re Bring the MORE Act to the House Floor for a Vote
       Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer: We, the 
     undersigned criminal justice, civil rights, drug policy, 
     labor and advocacy organizations who make up the Marijuana 
     Justice Coalition, write today to urge you to swiftly bring 
     to the House floor the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and 
     Expungement (MORE) Act of 2021 (H.R. 3617). This legislation 
     would end federal marijuana prohibition, address the 
     collateral consequences of federal marijuana criminalization, 
     and take steps to ensure the legal marketplace is diverse and 
     inclusive.
       This historic legislation first passed the House in 
     December of 2020 with a bipartisan vote of 228-164 but was 
     not considered by the Senate prior to the close of the 116th 
     Congress. Given that nearly every minute one person in this 
     country is arrested for a minor marijuana crime, the public 
     deserves to know if members of the 117th Congress stand on 
     the side of justice and against the outdated and cruel policy 
     of prohibition and criminalization of marijuana.
       Mass criminalization and over-enforcement of drug law 
     violations have devastated the social and economic fabrics of 
     entire communities, while also tearing apart the lives of 
     millions of individuals and families. And while Black, 
     Latino, and Indigenous people have carried the brunt of 
     marijuana criminalization, they have been shut out of the 
     regulated marijuana marketplace due to these very same 
     criminal records in addition to financial barriers to entry.
       The MORE Act seeks to solve these problems through a 
     comprehensive approach. The bill would declassify marijuana 
     as a controlled substance under federal law, expunge 
     marijuana convictions, and reduce marijuana sentences. The 
     Congressional Budget Office estimates that the MORE Act would 
     have reduced time served by 73,000 person-years, over the 
     2021-2030 period, among existing and future incarcerated 
     individuals. The bill, after solving the industry's 280E tax 
     issue, would also place a minor initial five percent federal 
     excise tax on marijuana sales at the manufacturer level in 
     order to fund services in communities adversely impacted by 
     drug prohibition and to build up Small Business 
     Administration programming to support a more diverse and 
     inclusive marketplace with local ownership.
       The previous House vote on the MORE Act came on the heels 
     of an election where five states--Montana, Arizona, South 
     Dakota, Mississippi, and New Jersey--had marijuana reform on 
     the ballot and each voted to loosen their marijuana laws. 
     Since then, even more states have chosen to reform their 
     marijuana laws. More recently, Connecticut, New York, New 
     Mexico, and Virginia passed marijuana legalization bills 
     rooted in social justice bringing the total number of states 
     that have legalized adult-use of marijuana to 18, in addition 
     to the District of Columbia, while 37 states and the District 
     of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, most recently 
     Mississippi earlier this year.
       A recent Pew Research poll shows that a record number of 
     U.S. adults--91 percent--now support marijuana legalization 
     for medical or adult use, a policy that is only achievable by 
     removing the substance from the Controlled Substances Act as 
     the MORE Act does. In short, the resounding shift in favor of 
     marijuana reform demonstrates what we have been saying: 
     marijuana justice is a winning issue and it is long past time 
     for the federal government to catch up.
       The time to end federal prohibition is long overdue. We 
     urge you bring the MORE Act to the House floor in March. For 
     more information or to address any questions you may have, 
     please contact Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of 
     National Affairs of the Drug Policy Alliance and convener of 
     the Marijuana Justice Coalition.
           Sincerely,
       American Civil Liberties Union; The BOWL PAC; Center for 
     American Progress; The Center for Law and Social Policy 
     (CLASP); Clergy for a New Drug Policy; Doctors for Cannabis 
     Regulation; Drug Policy Alliance; Human Rights Watch; 
     Immigrant Defense Project; Immigrant Legal Resource Center 
     JustLeadershipUSA; Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under 
     Law; The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights; 
     Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc.; MoveOn; National 
     Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild; National 
     Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws; National Urban 
     League; Students for Sensible Drug Policy; United Food and 
     Commercial Workers International Union; Veterans Cannabis 
     Coalition.

  Mr. BENTZ. I am prepared to close, and I reserve the balance of my 
time, Mr. Speaker.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to close.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, this bill, as I mentioned previously, fails to 
appropriately fund the police in all the States that will be facing the 
challenges that we face in Oregon.
  This is not a question of money. The bill, as drawn, will be raising 
literally billions of dollars at 8 percent tax over the next how many 
years--billions. Somehow, some of that money has to make its way into 
law enforcement.
  Without law enforcement, Mr. Speaker, you will see situations like we 
have in southern Oregon replicated across the Nation, regardless of the 
optimistic thought that somehow the cartels no longer have the monopoly 
and, therefore, will go away. That is not going to be the case as long 
as there is a higher price. In many cases, it is going to be a much 
higher price for legally produced marijuana.
  The bill fails to address impairment. My friends, many of them in the 
law enforcement space, including my brother, a former county sheriff, 
have said this is a huge problem where we don't know when people are 
driving impaired. Studies are ongoing.
  Why are we broadening this problem when we don't know how to charge 
those who are driving under the influence?
  Of course, as we have heard, it fails to address the ever-increasing 
potency of the drug. It fails to address the age at which marijuana can 
be legally used.
  What is that about? We know this drug adversely affects particularly 
young men's brain development all the

[[Page H4106]]

way up to age 26, yet this bill says nothing about it.
  It fails to address the differences between marijuana and hemp. Some 
would say, well, that is such a small issue. It is a huge issue. It is 
a huge issue, and it needs to be addressed.
  This bill is the proper vehicle to address these issues. I see that 
there are some amendments being brought which perhaps will at least go 
partially in that direction. But the bill itself and the legalization 
are premature, given the nature of those amendments.
  This is an untimely and incomplete bill. Its greatest failure is in 
not recognizing and addressing the damage the drug will do to our kids 
and our communities.
  Mr. Speaker, I strongly urge a ``no'' vote, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, last Congress, the House voted, on a bipartisan basis, 
to address this issue. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to act, so I am 
pleased that we are moving forward again today.
  Over the past two decades, public support for legalizing marijuana 
has surged. States have led the way and continue to lead the way on 
marijuana reform, but our Federal laws have not kept pace with the 
obvious need for change. It is time for the Federal Government to catch 
up, to do what is right.
  The MORE Act would treat marijuana as a public health issue rather 
than a criminal matter and would begin to rectify the heavy toll that 
criminalization has taken, particularly on communities of color and 
low-income communities.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CARBAJAL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the MORE Act, 
and urge my colleagues--on both sides of the aisle--to support this 
important and comprehensive cannabis reform legislation. It tackles 
inequities and historic criminalization associated with cannabis.
  The MORE Act will begin the long-overdue effort to undo the damage to 
families and communities across our nation that has been caused by 
misguided and ineffective federal drug polices related to cannabis. It 
will finally establish a safe and well-regulated interstate marketplace 
for cannabis.
  It is vitally important that at the federal level we finally 
recognize and invite this economic engine of job creation into the 
mainstream of our economy and workforce development. The vast majority 
of Americans support this long overdue change, and voters in many 
states including my home state of California have already taken action 
to legalize cannabis at the state level. It is time that we end this 
senseless and impactful disconnect between state and federal law.
  I also want to bring my colleagues' attention to one outstanding 
issue as this legislation moves forward. California's farmers are among 
the most productive and innovative in the world. Not surprisingly, that 
is the case with our cannabis farmers too, including those in my 
congressional district. Unfortunately, cannabis farmers are in the same 
legal limbo as everyone else in the industry because there are grey 
areas in the law that need to be resolved: they can't enroll in crop 
insurance programs, they can't receive an official ``organic'' 
designation, and they can't access USDA programs and support. Yet 
cannabis cultivation is not significantly different from farming 
strawberries, wine grapes, cut flowers, vegetables, and other crops 
grown in my district and state. I am hopeful that as we work with the 
Senate on comprehensive cannabis reform, we can provide clear statutory 
direction to bring USDA into this conversation as well and eliminate 
this remaining area of ambiguity for the farmers in my state.
  Once again, I urge a yes vote on this bill.
  Mr. OWENS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to raise safety concerns that 
remain unaddressed in H.R. 3617, the Marijuana Reinvestment and 
Expungement Act--known as the MORE Act. I believe there are serious 
safety concerns to be addressed prior to this chamber advancing this 
legislation.
  According to recent data, the safety impacts of cannabis legalization 
for adult recreational use should not be ignored.
  A 2020 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study analyzed the impacts 
of legal adult recreational use of cannabis in Washington state. The 
AAA study concluded that the proportion of fatal-crash-involved drivers 
who were THC-positive approximately doubled from the level observed 
before the law went into effect.
  Moreover, a series of studies conducted by the Insurance Institute 
for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that crash rates increased in some of 
my neighboring states and others after they legalized marijuana. 
California, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon, specifically, were the 
subjects of the IIHS evaluation.
  Marijuana use impacts the psycho-motor skills of the people who use 
it, often resulting in slowed responses. As seen by these earlier data, 
this impacts how we drive, overall safety on our roadways, and may have 
other safety impacts as we relax the laws around cannabis. I have 
serious safety concerns, and I would like to see these issues addressed 
more directly before I can consider supporting such legislation. To 
this end, I am developing my own legislation to look at this issue in 
workplaces to ensure safe, impairment free operations, and I look 
forward to working with my colleagues to see it enacted.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Each further amendment printed in part B of House Report 117-285 
shall be considered only in the order printed in the report, may be 
offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered 
as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report 
equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, may be 
withdrawn by the proponent at any time before the question is put 
thereon, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to 
a demand for division of the question.


               Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Gottheimer

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 
1 printed in part B of House Report 117-285.
  Mr. GOTTHEIMER. Mr. Speaker, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill, add the following:

     SEC. 16. STUDY ON MARIJUANA IMPAIRMENT.

       (a) In General.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall 
     conduct a study on technologies and methods that law 
     enforcement may use to determine whether a driver is impaired 
     by marijuana.
       (b) Requirements.--The study conducted under subsection (a) 
     shall be carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety 
     Administration, in consultation with any other agency the 
     Secretary determines appropriate.
       (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized 
     to be appropriated $10,000,000 to carry out this section.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 1017, the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Gottheimer) and a Member opposed each 
will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey.
  Mr. GOTTHEIMER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today about an amendment that I 
think is critically important to this legislation. It addresses a topic 
that I am concerned about, and I know many are as well, to make sure 
that law enforcement has the tools they need to ensure that our roads 
are safe and that when they pull someone over for whatever purpose, 
they are able to actually have the tools they need to assess the 
situation.
  My amendment would make sure the Secretary of Transportation can 
conduct a study on technology and methods that law enforcement can use 
to determine whether a driver is impaired by marijuana. The study will 
give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the resources 
they need to conduct this study.
  I think it is important and will make this legislation even stronger.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Oregon is recognized for 
5 minutes.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, this amendment would authorize $10 million to 
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct a study 
on how certain technologies can help law enforcement officers detect 
whether a driver is impaired by marijuana.
  Impaired driving is a serious issue that takes thousands of lives 
every year. Unfortunately, the Democrats only want to address this 
problem after they create it. Legalizing marijuana will undoubtedly 
lead to more drivers being impaired by marijuana.
  Democrats want to legalize marijuana and then provide law enforcement 
with a study on how they might be able to detect drivers impaired by

[[Page H4107]]

marijuana. Why wouldn't we start with giving law enforcement the 
resources they need?
  This doesn't make any sense, and the lack of support for law 
enforcement from Democrats in this bill shouldn't surprise us. Nowhere 
in this bill is there any funding for law enforcement related to 
marijuana. Let's fix the existing problems before making more.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GOTTHEIMER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his 
thoughtful amendment, and I thank him for helping to further enhance 
this bill.
  For clarity's sake, let me be very clear. This bill decriminalizes 
possession on the Federal level. All State laws and all State law 
enforcement are able to do their job. But let me remind you, Mr. 
Speaker, the President has put in an enormous amount of money for 
reducing crime in his budget.
  This legislation is extremely important for those of us who recognize 
the key responsibilities on the Nation's highways. That is a Federal 
responsibility, and the gentleman has offered an important amendment to 
give $10 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
to find the technology to enhance safety on highways.
  The bill also includes a requirement that a study should be conducted 
to understand the societal impacts of decriminalizing marijuana, 
including the impact on juveniles, education, transportation, veterans, 
employment, and many others.
  The gentleman's amendment, Mr. Gottheimer's, enhances this bill and 
makes it a direct response to the concerns that Americans may have.
  Mr. Speaker, I support the amendment and the underlying bill, and I 
thank the gentleman for clarifying this important responsibility.
  Mr. BENTZ. I am prepared to close, Mr. Speaker.
  Mr. GOTTHEIMER. Mr. Speaker, I want to reinforce what Ms. Jackson Lee 
said, the importance of making sure we invest in safety, which is 
always my top priority, and making sure that law enforcement has the 
tools they need.
  We invest in law enforcement and ensure we have their backs. They 
take care of us every single day. I stand by law enforcement, and we 
will make sure they have the resources they need. This legislation 
helps in that effort to protect our families and our roads.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this 
amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 1017, the 
previous question is ordered on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. Gottheimer).
  The question is on the amendment.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to section 3(s) of House Resolution 
8, the yeas and nays are ordered.
  Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further proceedings on this question 
are postponed.


                  Amendment No. 2 Offered by Mr. Lamb

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 
2 printed in part B of House Report 117-285.
  Mr. LAMB. Mr. Speaker, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Add at the end of the bill the following:

     SEC. 16. WORKPLACE IMPACT OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION STUDY.

       Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and 
     Health shall--
       (1) conduct a study and submit to Congress a report on the 
     impact of the legalization of recreational cannabis by States 
     on the workplace; and
       (2) develop best practices for use by employers that are 
     transitioning their policies related to the use of 
     recreational cannabis, prioritizing the development of best 
     practices for employers engaged in Federal infrastructure 
     projects, transportation, public safety, and national 
     security.
       Add at the end of the bill the following:

     SEC. 17. SCHOOL IMPACT OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION STUDY.

       Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the Secretary of Education shall--
       (1) conduct a study and submit to Congress a report on the 
     impact of the legalization of recreational cannabis by States 
     on schools and school-aged children; and
       (2) develop best practices for use by educators and 
     administrators to protect school-aged children from any 
     negative impacts of such legalization.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 1017, the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Lamb) and a Member opposed each will 
control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. LAMB. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, before I came to Congress, I was a Federal prosecutor in 
my hometown of Pittsburgh, and the biggest law enforcement challenges 
that we had then, and really still have today, are opioids and gun 
violence. Marijuana just didn't register in terms of the risks that it 
posed to people on a day-to-day basis compared to those two things.
  Yet, because of the way the Federal criminal laws are written and the 
way that cannabis is placed in schedule I, it is very easy for a 
marijuana offense to actually get someone a worse sentence than an 
opioid offense like overprescribing Oxycontin, selling fentanyl, or a 
firearms offense like possession of a firearm or shooting at someone. 
Our Federal laws are out of place.
  It is in the spirit of wanting to make sure that our law enforcement 
priorities are focused on the most serious crimes and the most violent 
crimes that I can support the removal of cannabis from schedule I.
  This bill came up once before in the previous Congress under a closed 
rule in which there were not opportunities for amendment, so I want to 
thank the leadership and the chairman this time around for allowing 
Members under an open rule to make some amendments.
  While I do support the removal of cannabis from schedule I, I think, 
as we have heard in the debate today, there are many questions about 
what happens the day after that and are we being careful enough to 
ensure that the public gets the best possible balance of the benefits 
of taxing and regulating cannabis while still protecting children and 
making sure that we have safe and efficient workplaces.
  The amendment that I am offering here today aims to answer a couple 
of questions. Essential workers--firefighters, people who operate heavy 
equipment on infrastructure projects, people who work in public safety 
and national security--what are we willing to tolerate as far as those 
workers on the job site potentially with cannabis in their system?
  We need to know how to test for it. We need to know what the rules 
are to keep people safe on that job site and, most importantly, keep 
the public safe so these people can continue working.
  The same question for schools: What are the best practices for 
schools in a world where cannabis is no longer in schedule I of the 
Controlled Substances Act; in a world where cannabis could be in corner 
stores that children walk past on their way home; in a world where 
school bus drivers or teachers may be legally authorized to use 
cannabis in their off time?
  All we are trying to do is answer these questions.
  There are some who see problems with a change in the law. They see 
challenges, and they shrink from them. They say: Let's keep the status 
quo the same. Let's not tackle problems.
  What we are trying to do here is do the public one better than that.
  There is an ironclad case for removing cannabis from schedule I and 
focusing our law enforcement priorities where they should be, but we 
have to take steps to make sure that we do this in a careful, cautious, 
and correct manner.
  That is what my amendment offers, Mr. Speaker, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.

                              {time}  1045

  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the proposed 
amendment.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Oregon is recognized for 
5 minutes.

[[Page H4108]]

  

  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  This amendment is a great example of how Democrats legislate: Make a 
bunch of drastic changes and then consider the consequences.
  The amendment calls for two studies to be conducted, after the 
enactment of the bill, to evaluate how State legislation on marijuana 
has impacted those States.
  The first study will be conducted by the National Institute for 
Occupational Safety and Health on the impact of State legalization of 
recreational marijuana on the workplace. The second study will be 
conducted by the Department of Education on the impact of legalization 
to schools and school-aged children.
  The amendment also requires the Department of Education to develop 
best practices for educators and administrators to protect children 
from negative impacts.
  This amendment recognizes the fact that the majority is blindly 
leading us down the path of marijuana legalization. The information to 
be provided by these studies would better serve this body and the 
children of America if we had it before legalization.
  Last year, the percentage of American employees testing positive for 
drugs hit a two-decade high. This jump was driven by an increase in 
positive marijuana tests.
  This amendment is merely window dressing on a bad and incomplete 
bill. Rather than tackle the actual problem of marijuana abuse at the 
workplace, which could have disastrous consequences, Democrats simply 
want to study the issue.
  This amendment is a tacit admission that they know this bill is 
flawed, and it is a ploy by the majority to say they addressed one of 
the flaws.
  I fear the information that the studies will reveal may come too late 
for many if this bill were to become law.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LAMB. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire as to how much time is 
remaining.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Pennsylvania has 2 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from Oregon has 3\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. LAMB. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, it is incredulous when good ideas come 
to the floor that should draw bipartisan support--one cannot look, in 
the old country, they say, a gift horse in the mouth.
  I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania for recognizing that what we 
do in Washington, what we do for the people of this Nation, is to make 
sure we give them good facts. It will be good facts if his amendment is 
assessing a very important place in our lives, the workplace, or 
another very important place in our lives, schools.
  This legislation, as I indicated, the underlying legislation just 
decriminalizes possession. It gives people another lifeline. It takes 
the criminalization away from this mounting incarceration of people of 
color.
  I support the gentleman's amendment and say it is reasonable and good 
law. Let us support that amendment and the underlying bill.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LAMB. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time for 
closing.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to address one point from my colleague from 
Oregon's side of the debate.
  Today, after the passage of this bill--hopefully, with my amendment--
we will be sending a letter to both departments addressed by this 
amendment to ask them to begin these studies right away. I agree that 
it is important that the public needs this information and knowledge. 
Employers, workplaces, and schools need it as quickly as possible.
  What I am not sure our colleagues on the other side really realize at 
this moment is that people are already using cannabis. It is very 
common in all segments of society and all people with all different 
types of jobs. The place that the public has been left in is an overly 
harsh criminal penalty, with very little specific guidance to 
workplaces, employers, and schools of what they are supposed to do in 
this new world.
  What many of them do is react as harshly as possible, matching the 
criminal sanction of our Federal Government. They do drug tests and 
have strict bans, basically, on this substance that many Americans feel 
is actually safe and part of the lifestyle that they want to live.
  Our study will allow a better answer than that. In a world where 
people are going to be using this drug, this substance, and where it 
is, in fact, much less harsh than prescription drugs that are regulated 
lower on the scale than that, we need to get the answer out there to 
these workplaces and schools as quickly as possible. That is all that 
we are aiming to do here.
  We are making policy for the real world with this amendment, and I 
encourage all of my colleagues to support it.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to mention that I agree there has to be the 
proper determination of when you are impaired after you have used 
marijuana. I made that argument in my discussion of the bill.
  The issue is one of timing. It is not just impairment. There are many 
other things in the bill that need to be addressed that aren't.
  In this rush to legalize, what we have is a lot of assuming, as was 
just suggested, that everybody is already using it, so why bother? 
Well, a lot of people are. But after it becomes federally legalized, 
more will be using it. Thus, the danger level will increase.
  We can't sit here and say there are no consequences of legalization. 
By that, I mean the same number of people using it. The questions 
become: When are we going to do this? Why wasn't it done earlier? Why 
wasn't it done yet? One of the reasons is that it is really hard to 
make this determination.
  What I am saying is, it is a matter of timing. But it is not just 
this issue; there are many others.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 1017, the 
previous question is ordered on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to section 3(s) of House Resolution 
8, the yeas and nays are ordered.
  Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further proceedings on this question 
are postponed.


                 amendment no. 3 offered by mr. raskin

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 
3 printed in part B of House Report 117-285.
  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 78, after line 20 insert the following:
       (c) Review and Reassessment.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than one year after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, each Federal agency shall review 
     and reassess each decision, made on or after May 1, 1971, to 
     deny or rescind the security clearance of an individual 
     described.
       (2) Reason for denial.--A review and reassessment conducted 
     under paragraph (1) shall not use past or present cannabis or 
     marijuana use as a reason to deny or rescind a security 
     clearance.
       (3) Notice.--A Federal agency conducting a review and 
     reassessment under paragraph (1) shall notify each individual 
     described of such review and reassessment and provide such 
     individual an opportunity to decline the review and 
     reassessment. As applicable, an individual described shall be 
     notified of the outcome of any review and reassessment 
     conducted as soon as practicable.
       (4) Individual described.--In this subsection, the term 
     ``individual described'' means any individual who has had a 
     security clearance denied or rescinded for past or present 
     cannabis or marijuana use.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 1017, the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Raskin) and a Member opposed each will 
control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Maryland.
  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

[[Page H4109]]

  Mr. Speaker, I am very proud today to stand for this legislation with 
the party of democracy and freedom for the people, rather than the 
party of Big Brother and failed drug authoritarianism.
  Do you know that 150 million Americans have used marijuana? Half of 
the country. That is just the people who are being honest about it. 
Half of the country has used marijuana, but you can still be denied a 
security clearance and government employment for having once used 
marijuana. That is plainly stupid, wrong, and unfair.
  We are disqualifying tens of millions of qualified and excellent job 
applicants for Federal Government employment, our fellow citizens, our 
constituents. In Democratic districts and Republican districts, we are 
disqualifying those people from being Federal Government employees 
solely because they have used marijuana.
  My amendment is one that every Member of the House should support. It 
says that Americans should not be denied a security clearance simply 
because they have used marijuana.
  The longer I spend time in Congress, Mr. Speaker, the more I realize 
that in America, change comes from the States. It comes from the 
people. That is how we got child labor laws. That is how we got women's 
suffrage. That is how we got direct election of U.S. Senators, and now, 
so too with our draconian, obsolete, and failed marijuana laws.
  Look at what is happening out in America. Eighteen States, plus 
Washington, D.C., have now passed laws allowing adult use of marijuana. 
In other words, they have accepted the antiprohibition principle that 
is in our Constitution. It is not that alcohol is so great for 
everybody in every circumstance, or marijuana is so great for everybody 
in every circumstance. It is that criminal prohibition and 
criminalization of large parts of our own population don't work.
  It is legal in 18 States. In 27 States, it has been decriminalized. 
In a majority of the States, it is no longer criminal. In 36 States, 
the vast majority of America, more than two-thirds of the States, 
medical use of marijuana has been approved. In other words, it is legal 
in the vast majority of States of the country to use marijuana for 
medicinal purposes.
  What a massive outbreak of common sense in America against the GOP's 
failed authoritarian war on marijuana that depends on paranoid tropes 
from the 1970s. It is like they saw ``Reefer Madness'' in middle school 
and never got over it.
  I concede our party is not for the kind of cocaine-fueled orgies that 
a freshman Republican Representative bragged about this week, but we do 
understand that their marijuana prohibition laws don't work for our 
people.
  In any event, Mr. Speaker, we can all agree that we should not be 
denying our constituents the opportunity to serve in Federal office by 
denying them a security clearance simply because they have used 
marijuana.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Oregon is recognized for 
5 minutes.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, it is April Fools' Day, so maybe this is a joke.
  This amendment would require Federal agencies to review every 
decision to rescind or deny a security clearance since 1971 to 
determine if it was based on marijuana usage. Then, the agency would 
have to track down every person who was denied a clearance due to 
marijuana use. The agency would then let them know that the decision 
will be reassessed unless the person objects.
  This is crazy. It creates a huge burden on Federal agencies for what? 
Even if this bill were to become law, the denial of these security 
clearances was based on a person's willful violation of a law at the 
time.
  When agencies are assessing whether these people should have access 
to national security sensitive information, the consideration isn't 
whether the person uses marijuana. It is whether the person is willing 
to undermine the rule of law.
  If they can't follow this Nation's laws, then we can't expect them to 
follow the processes to protect our most sensitive information.
  Further, this amendment reaches back more than 50 years. How many of 
these people still need, want, or are even eligible for security 
clearances?
  No one gets a security clearance just because you want one. You can't 
just walk up off the street and apply for it. You need to be employed 
with the Federal Government or a government contractor, and your 
employer must need you to have access to the information.
  Very few people who were denied a security clearance in 1980 are 
still employed in or even qualify for positions that would require 
security clearances. Some of the people we are talking about may be 
retirees in their eighties or nineties. Many of them may have 
representative payees who are their children or grandchildren. Why 
would we want to expose the fact that their father, mother, 
grandfather, or grandmother was a marijuana abuser?
  The gentleman from Maryland wants the Federal Government to re-create 
the security clearance backlog that the Trump administration just 
cleared up for unneeded reviews and to resurface private information. 
This amendment makes little sense.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I think the distinguished gentleman seems to concede the general 
principle that we should not be denying the opportunity of Federal 
employment to half of the country because they have used marijuana 
before.

  So, his argument seems to be: We have denied so many people that this 
would be an imposition on Federal bureaucrats to go back and tell 
people when they have been wronged in the past simply by telling the 
truth and saying that they have once used marijuana.
  In fact, most of these agencies don't even require that there was any 
kind of criminal prosecution or conviction. They ask you, ``Have you 
used marijuana?'' If people say, ``Yes, I used it once in college,'' or 
whatever, they can't get a job. That makes no sense. We are doing that 
to our constituents.
  Yes, let's go back and see how many people we have denied the 
opportunity of Federal employment to because they have used marijuana, 
which is lawful in most of the country now, either on a medicinal basis 
or on a recreational basis for adult consenting individuals who decide 
that is a decision they want to make.
  Let's grow up as a country about this, and let's stop discriminating 
against our own people.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I just point out that I didn't concede 
anything that I recognize. If you thought I did, please rethink it.
  I want to point out that the security clearance isn't just for 
Federal employees. It is for private contractors and people seeking 
security clearances. All I am saying is, one can refer to our 
``bureaucrats'' as though they don't have other things to do. They do 
lots of very important things. I would suggest this falls pretty low on 
that list.
  It is an interesting amendment, but I urge opposition.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for pointing out that 
my amendment would apply not only to people who have sought public 
employment in the past and been denied because they have been honest 
enough to admit that they have once used marijuana but to private 
contractors. We are denying people the opportunity to do business with 
the government if they tell the truth about that.
  I am urging all of my colleagues, wherever you are in terms of your 
particular State, let's stop discriminating.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

                              {time}  1100

  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this 
amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 1017, the 
previous question is ordered on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Maryland (Mr. Raskin).
  The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Raskin).

[[Page H4110]]

  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays. The 
SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to section 3(s) of House Resolution 8, 
the yeas and nays are ordered.
  Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further proceedings on this question 
are postponed.

                          ____________________