tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House Debate on Marijuana Legalization CSPAN April 1, 2022 3:38pm-4:59pm EDT
students in low-income communities can get the tools they need for anything. >> comcast supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> and now the u.s. house debates a bill that would legalize the use and possession of marijuana. this is an hour 20 minutes. spe. 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. . for far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead a as a -- as a matter of personal choice or public health. whatever one's views for
marijuana for recreation or medicinal, prosecution has proven unwise or unjust. that's why the bill would begin to correct some of the injustices of the last 50 years. the build decriminalizes 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 v.a. to recommend medical marijuana to veterans living with ptsd, and allows financial institutions to service the marijuana industry. it provides for expungement or resentencing of certain 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 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 perspectively 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. 19 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 longtime champion and important voice in the movement for reform, as is congresswoman jackson lee, who helped shepherd this legislation to the floor. i also want to thank chairman neal, who has been a critical partnering in drafting the revenue provisions in this bill and 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. i want to particularly thank majority leader hoyer for everything he's done to bring this bill to the floor. mr. speaker, criminal penalties for marijuana offenses and the results 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. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bentz: mr. speaker, there is a war raging in ukraine killing thousands and thousands of innocent people. gasoline, diesel, 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 hard-earned money for all americans. but the main priority of democrats isn't ukraine, skyrocketing gasoline prices, the border crisis. it's marijuana. it's some point people say it will be legalized. what's deeply and troubling of this bill is the failure to address the clear consequence of legalization, such as what this drug does to children, to drivers on our highways, to the mental health for the adults who choose to use marijuana, to communities inundated of cartels, and finally, to those who actually try to produce cannabis marijuana legally. let's take a look a oregon, to see how marijuana is legalized without necessary and careful thought. this house is about 50 feet long and wide. at current retail it has $6
million worth of marijuana a year. next picture is a picture of a grove consisting of 30 or 40 hoop houses. these are all in my district in southern oregon. if each of the hoop house 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 above hoop houses be entered into the record. the speaker pro tempore: the chair can't entertain that request. mr. bentz: they are unlicensed, uncontrolled, unregulated, operated on stolen water, ignoring land use laws, labor laws and having immigrants live in squalor and fear. why? the federal government has
refused to help the overwhelmed local law enforcement officers meet the huge challenges these cartels present. in fact, months ago, i directly asked attorney general garland for his assistance to get the f.b.i. and d.e.a. to help in southern oregon and i have heard nothing, absolutely nothing back from them. any bill dealing with legalization include significant money for law enforcement. we're certainly not getting help from the attorney general. this picture behind me is what it looks -- 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've tried to stop water theft. here's a picture of some of the stolen water. when the crop is harvested, hoop houses are abandoned. the migrant labors disappear and
the mess is left for someone else to clean up. here's what that looks like. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to include in the record the "politico" article labeled why legal weed didn't kill oregon's black market. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bentz: any bill legalizing marijuana include money for significant law enforcement which will be absolutely particularly necessary to set up a penalty for failing to register, will not work, without the concurrent means of enforcement. do not let the defunding of police thinking in this bill lead the nation into the same ecological human disaster we have in oregon. it fails to address the potency of the drug. it fails to address the age which marijuana could be legally use and the bill's 5% and quickly rising to 8% gross
receipts driving the black market source of marijuana. the federal tax, when added in, will make legal marijuana almost 30% 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. the bill -- 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. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i would commend the attention of the gentleman to the sections of the bill that deal with all the different problems he raised. i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from tennessee, a member of the committee, mr. cohen.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for two minutes. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chairman and i thank mo 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's the opposite we should do. decriminalizing means cops spend less time busting people for marijuana possession and look for more people committing violent crime. a couple people sponsored bills as well as don young and dana rohrabacher because it was a libertarian freedom issue. it's no secret the war on drugs failed. harry started it in the 1930's and he vilified hispanic americans and said this was a way to get them. and then richard nixon even had a commission that said we should decriminalize marijuana but then
decided, because of oa couple people, no, the nixon strategy was better designed 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 said, 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 and wildly -- in wildly, dangerous conditions, fast speeds, and kill others. congress has been out of step on this issue. the called cultural lag. we're finally coming around to rescheduling it from schedule 1 where it's in a class with heroin and methamphetamines, which is babsurd. we should have research. we must deschedule marijuana. we must decriminalize it at the federal level.
now it's time to do remedies to our federal marijuana laws. this is an historic time. i thank mr. nadler, ms. lee, and those who championed this bill, mr. blumenauer, and let's move forward and do the right thing. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: thank you, mr. speaker. i just want to mention that i have read the bill very carefully, chair nadler, and there is nothing in the bill allocating money to law enforcement. mr. chair, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. good. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. good: thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you to the gentleman from oregon. 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, behavioral
altering recreational drugs, at a time when our country is also experiencing increased addiction, depression, and suicide. what's 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 have 100,000 americans die of overdose 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've got fentanyl and other dangerous drugs streaming into our country at historic levels because of the president's open border policies. what's his solution? end title 42 which is predicted to end the daily crossings from the current 7,000 a day to as much as 18,000 a day. that's 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's 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 it's caused. we should be ashamed of ourselves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. good: i oppose this bill. mr. bentz: mr. speaker, i
reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield two minutes to the distinguished chairman of the democratic caucus, mr. jeffries. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. jeffries: thank you. i thank the chairman 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 americaincn any other country in the world,
including, per capita, china and russia combined. that's a stain on our democracy. we have an overcriminallization 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's time to end the federal cannabis prohibition. it's time to deschedule it. it's time to decriminalize marijuana. it's 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's time to pass the more act. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: thank you, 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. none of that money goes to public safety. it goes to a rebuild community space but not public safety w that i yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia , mr. carter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. carter: mr. speaker, mr. speaker, how is it that we here in congress, in the face of all the domestic and international crisis that we are facing right now that we are here talking about decriminalizing and descheduling marijuana? we are all going to go home this weekend. 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. there 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 life. and what are we doing here in congress? talking about marijuana. you got to be kidding me. mr. speaker, as you know i'm 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's a drug, and it's legalized. that's 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 nine 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. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from rhode island, member of the judiciary committee, mr. cicilline. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for two minutes. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i
rise today in support of the more act. legislation that taings an important -- takes an important step in moving forward the failed war on drugs. it's been a major driver of mass incarceration in the united states. hundreds of thousands of people arrested each year for marijuana related charges, very often just possession. this has in turn led to our federal prison system operating at 103% of capacity. and too many of these offenders are serving time for nonviolent drug related crimes. a drug related conviction even for possession could 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 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 control substances list, allowing for the expungement of 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. i want to thank chairman nadler for his extraordinary leadership on this issue. i'm proud to be a co-sponsor of this legislation and support it here today. i urge my colleagues to join me in voting yes and reversing the gross injustice the war on drugs has produced and bring sensible policy back into place. i want to end by thanking everyone who has worked on this for so many years but particularly our chairman for his fashion mat -- passionate and strong leadership w that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield four minutes to the gentleman from arizona, mr. biggs. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from arizona is recognized for four minutes. mr. biggs: it's great to be here. i got a kick out of the gentleman from tennessee. showing his age. he's talking about pot. when it was 2% t.h.c. he's thinking pot still. this drug where people get goofy and they eat chitos -- cheetos. he's not talking about the 99% t.h.c. pot being sold in some of the states that have legalized pot. that's fun. very good to go back and think about how things were in the late 60's, early 70's. let's talk about -- how about a mother jones article i have before me where they are analyzing the use of pot and talking about, hey, look, this is what happens. you start seeing paranoia and psychosis comes in. they are referring to new zealand studies. long-term longitudinal studies about the dangers of pot. that's interesting. we are not going to even talk about that because don't have time to talk about that. we are focusing here on
descheduling marijuana. what that does it incentivizes marijuana use and distribution. but this bill is also reckless in its approach, provides no limits on or requirements to clearly identify the potency of marijuana or concentrates. in 1995, the t.h.c. was about 4%. today it's between 20% and 99%. it also doesn't deal with surgeon general says it needs to be the case that the age limit should under age 25. this doesn't get into any age limit. doesn't cover that. that's what the surgeon general says. the surgeon general's advisory says, human brain continues to develop from birth into the mid 20's. vulnerable to the effects of addictive substances. i don't know, like marijuana. it goes on to say, frequent marijuana use during adolescence is associated with changes in the areas of the brain involving attention, memory, decisionmaking, and motivation. adough lessant marijuana use is
associated with declines in i.q., school performance, and life satisfaction increased rates of suicide attempts. now know what this bill does? it says you can distribute this to -- under federal law, you can distribute this to an 11-year-old kid. 11-year-old kid will have marijuana, be able to use t you can't do anything to them here for that. that's for sure. what it does do is it creates a tax crime. creates a tax crime. get rid of your marijuana crime. creates some tax crimes. we know how great the tax code is for being ease of use and understanding. section 3 of the bill removes marijuana from the scheduled control substances act t would not 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. the reality is that's for state and local crimes. in fact, there were 1100
marijuana convictions in 2020 under federal law. you know what they were? for transport, distribution. you are not going to be able to get anybody for that. let's talk about how well this has worked. in the "l.a. times" pieces that talk about this. "l.a. times" does a massive expose. what do they find out? 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. you have a crisis in l.a. county, san bernardino county, also in riverside county. those grow farms used forced labor as mr. bentz 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's what you are going to do. are you going to federalize this. well-done. this is a piece of garbage. i oppose this legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield three minutes to the distinguished gentlelady from texas, a member of the judiciary committee, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for three minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker. i thank the lead sponsor, chairman nadler, for problem solving. blumenauer and cohen and congresswoman lee and all of those who galvanized all of us and was pleased to be able to lead this through the crime subcommittee. the war on drugs simply failed. and i'm 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 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 d.a., department of justice, f.b.i., or anyone else from doing its job. the bill would remove marijuana as a cannabis -- cannabis from the list or schedule of federally controlled substances. this means that going forward individuals can no longer be prosecuted for marijuana offenses. this does not mean marijuana would 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. 47 states already have some form of legal use of marijuana.
let me share my friends the points she's going to make. the bill was designed to help individuals who have been caught up in the criminallous tis systems for possessing small amounts of marijuana for personal use. design -- it was not designed to help drug traffickers. the president has given over $1 bill to -- $1 billion to ukraine as one of the steadfast leaders and not one of us needs to challenge the president or anyone anyone 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's everywhere. including rural america. where republicans say they are. i don't look at it that way. it's americans. we stand together. this bill is about america. the expungement provisions are limited to nonviolent marijuana possession conviction that is has loaded up our federal prisons. if an individual has other criminal convictions in addition to a covered nonviolent offense,
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. let me tell you what else will happen. we'll 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 -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: let us go forward. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the
gentleman from mississippi , mr. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for two minutes -- for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. palazzo: thank you, representative bentz, for the time. mr. speaker, our country is facing a national security crisis and energy crisis, a border crisis, and economic crisis. 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. and states with legal marijuana, there are more marijuana-related emergency room visits than any other category.
patients using marijuana to treat pain, anxiety, depression, failed to report improve symptoms. and now has cannabis abuse disorder. about 30% 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% increase in c.u.d. 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 getaway drug for recreational or medicinal is reckless, careless, irresponsible. mr. nadler: if the gentleman will yield? mr. palazzo: no. it 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. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from california, mr. correa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. 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. and number three, it taxes cannabis. and mr. speaker, it is time, it
is time. 37 states in our nation have already legalized cannabis. even canada has legalized cannabis, and other nations around the world are legalizing cannabis. and even the israelis are selling it, cannabis-related medicine. it's time, mr. speaker. but this is just a start. cannabis farmers can't enroll in crop insurance. they can't receive the official organic designation. and they can't access usda programs. mr. speaker, it's well beyond time. please, vote for this legislation. vote for common sense. let's vote for the more act. i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: mr. speaker, in response to this bill helping farmers, i just want to say it does not.
what it does, it puts a tax on top of that which the -- their product. when added to the oregon tax would be almost 30%. 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% additional cost. by the way, it's in gross receipts tax. it's in top of the gross receipts, not the profit you are supposed to get. the bill, as written, fails to distinguish between hemp and marijuana. this must be done if folks in each space are going to properly grow. with that iry serve -- i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the distinguished majority leader of the house, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for one minute.
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've 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. and i want to tell my colleagues, i'm tired of hearing this argument that, oh, my goodness, we're doing this. we ought to be doing something else. we are all working on the 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're working on that. we're having trouble getting some legislation in the senate that will bring down inflation and bring down the cost 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. so 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 worked so hard on this. why has she worked so hard on this? 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've been here a long time. i have been, like the gentleman who spoke about this is a gateway drug.
it's not a gateway drug. i've been convinced of that. marijuana has been legalized in 19 states. that's 40% of our states. save one. and the district of columbia. and medical marijuana is legal in 36 states. so 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're on your own. you know, make it out for yourself. we're 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 not
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's not good policy. now, that's not some whacko coastal state. it's colorado. maybe whacko but -- 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'm not any of those. and i will tell you a lot of my colleagues -- when i was in college in the 1800's, it was alcohol. it was alcohol. we were not the generation of drugs. it was alcohol. and it devastated the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of young people. but nobody cried out to make it illegal. they had tried that, of course, in the 1920's. 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. and the gentleman who spoke says, why are we dealing with in? -- 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's why we're dealing with this. because it's unfair in america. those criminal records can haunt people of color and impact the trajectory of their lives and careers indefinitely. and i regret that there are some members of our congress who apparently think that's not worthy of attention. it can result in difficulty finding employment, difficulty finding housing, denial of access of federal benefits, denial of financial aid at colleges and universities, and denial of the right to vote. that's why we're 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 department, 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 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 we repeat that -- nonviolent cannabis offenses and provides resources for job training, re-entry 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's 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's why we're spending time on this bill today. i want to thank my friend one more time, chairman nadler, for his leadership on this bill. i also want to thank mr. neal for helping us get this bill to the floor. also, like to 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 about the middle class. the way to lift the middle class is lift people those who aren't in it so they can contribute to making a better, stronger america. 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. 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's 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 wouldn'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 in mississippi. who voted on a policy that would
make a fairer and more just america. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: mr. speaker, i just want to mention that it was noted that whenever asked people have said they would support legalization of marijuana, that's not correct. north dakota, measure 3 failed. missouri, proposition c to legalize marijuana failed. ohio, issue 3 failed. with that i yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. latta. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. latta: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise today to offer a motion to recommit on behalf of the members of our communities who have tragically lost their lives through substance abuse disorder, s.u.d. prior to the covid-19 public health emergency, our country faced a different kind of enemy that knew no bounds. this chamber once united in the
battle against addiction. i was proud of the 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 resulting lockdowns, mandates, social isolation, and for of an invisible enemy. recently the centers for disease control and spreengs announced 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, now the leading cause of death in americans age 18-24. down on our southern border customs and border protection are confiscating record amounts of fentanyl coming across the mexican border. a c.b.p. seized over 11,201
pounds of fentanyl from october of 2020 to september of 2021 which is a 4 sers increase -- 41% increase from the year b that's enough to kill 4.5 billion people or the entire u.s. population seven times over. to address this crisis, i introduced -- i introduced an act with my friend from the ninth district of virginia. this legislation would permanently schedule fentanyl related substances as a schedule 1 and enable researchers and communities to study schedule 1 substances for possible medical benefits. we must do everything we can to save lives and implore my colleagues to support this legislation. mr. speaker, if we adopt the motion to recommit, we will instruct the committee on the judiciary to consider my amendment to h.r. 3617, to permanently place fentanyl related substances -- may i have 15 seconds. mr. bentz: another 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for another 30 seconds. mr. latta: thank you very much. to permanently place fentanyl related substances and schedule
1 of the controlled substances act and i ask unanimous consent to insert into the record the text of the amendment in the record and prior to the vote on the motion to recommit. mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: joyed. mr. latta: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentlelady from new york, ms. velazquez. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for two minutes. 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. because federal reform must place restorative justice as a top priority. i thank speaker pelosi, chairman nadler, and my fellow chairs for once again bringing this legislation to the house floor. voters in states like new york have led the way in changing
their cannabis law, 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 1 drug and encouraging states to expunge low-level records. it helps entrepreneurs access affordable capital to start a legitimate business which too often is am way to entrepreneurship to people of color regardless of industry. as chair of the small business committee i am proud the more act includes measures, my colleague and i championed, to ensure s.b.a. programs like the flagship 7-a loan program, 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. for that reason i urge my colleagues to vote yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield four minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for four minutes. mr. jordan: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, record crime, record inflation, record gas prices, record number of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border. 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. record -- every major urban area has increased crime and democrats are legalizing drugs and propping up the marijuana
industry. 40-year high inflation. hasn't been this high since 1982. we have some members not even -- record inflation. democrats are focusing on legalizing drugs and kick starting the marijuana industry. record gas prices, $6 gas in california. $4 gas everywhere else. democrats are legalizing drugs. and helping the marijuana industry. and, of course, two million illegal immigrants crossed our southern border in the last 14 months. and democrats are legalizing drugs and helping the cannabis industry. by the way, and we have a justice department, we could be -- we have a justice department that is treating parents as domestic terrorists. spying on moms and dads who show up at school board meetings. putting a threat tag label on parents. this designation, this label on moms and dads, simply standing up for their kids.
democrats are focusing on legalizing drugs and helping the cannabis industry. the majority leader, democrat majority said why are we dealing with this today? you know why? because they can't deal with the real problems facing american people. the left won't let them. do you think the left will let them do what needs to be done to bring down gas prices. one of our democrat colleagues in that hearing we had the c.e.o.'s of the oil and gas companies, will you pledge today to decrease production? they want less oil and gas. i asked -- went down the list. what do you want, $8 gas? the truth is they do. the left will not let the democrats do what needs to be done to help the inflation problem, energy problem, illegal immigration problem on the southern border. what do they do? they legalize drugs. wow. wow. this is wrong. everybody knows it. let's focus on the things that
matter for -- the majority leader leader said for middle class families having to drive to work, pick their kids up to school, take their kids to little lyle league practice, spending four and five bucks a gallon to get them there and back. let's focus on the things that matter. i urge a no vote and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. 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 now yield two minutes to the distinguished gentlelady from california who has been such a great champion in the fight for this legislation, ms. lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california, ms. lee, is recognized for two minutes. ms. lee: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.r.
3617, the more act. i want to thank speaker pelosi, leader hoyer, chairman neal, and chairman nadler. let me thank you for your persistence, perseverance, and really hanging in there and bringing this to the floor because you know what the issues are and you know how important this is to repair the damage of the lives of so many people. so thank you, chairman nadler, so much. i want to also thank congressman blumenauer. my partner on so many issues. of course our speaker. and mr. perlmutter who is in the chair today. everyone who has helped to bring this to the floor. my condolences today, with the family of our colleague, the late representative don young. a champion on this issue. we honor -- 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 meant our members of congress learn more about the importance of this. that this is also a racial justice bill. it's the product of long time the work of so many for a long time. and i want to salute our staff, amy, julie, samira, gregory, caleb. so many staff. as a former staffer i know how this was done. i want to thank our staff for really doing the heavy lifting on this. 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 controlled substances act. that's 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 lead to difficult finding employment, securing housing, and accessing other benefits. mr. nadler: i yield 30 seconds. ms. lee: it's a multibillion dollar industry that brings tax revenue of billions to our states. over 950 people are arrested daily for marijuana related offenses. this is truly unjust. we must end this failed policy of marijuana prohibition which has led to the shattering of so many lives. primarily black and brown people. yes, that is extremely important. it's time to repair the damage. it's time to provide equal justice for those who have been unduly incorrespond rated.
public -- incarcerated. public opinion supports this. over 50 yearsing a the national commission on marijuana -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. lee: thank you again. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: reserves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. natd letter: mr. speaker, i now -- mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield two minutes to another great champion of this legislation, 2:30, to another great champion of this legislation, mr. blumenauer of oregon. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for -- mr. blumenauer: i thank alt people that my friend barbara lee acknowledged. 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. 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. as a result, we have a piecemeal approach, 48 states have some form of legalization. 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 the legislation faces. we have an opportunity to unlock untold benefits for more medical research and be able to channel the efforts into a legal market, 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 still are cutting corners. . my friend is right about the southern part of oregon. but he's wrong with the solution. the more act will 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 mind set for the leadership. we've opened the opportunity to solve these problems. i urge us to take advantage of it and move forward. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: thank you, mr. speaker. and to my friend and former law school classmate, president blumenauer, i just want to say -- actually, he was a few years ahead of me. i want to draw attention to the bill page 15 which talks about the expenditures. the amounts in the trust fund shall be available without further appropriation only, only as follows. and then it reads -- reflects section 3052-a of the street tax
of 1968 which i drug 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's not there. that money is going for a very limited, very narrow purposes. how much money? well, if this 8% tax had been applied to the amount of marijuana sold in the united states last year, the total is $400 million. not the total sold. total tax. $400 million, half which would go to this narrow piece of work. not saying it's unimportant. narrow. 50% called out here. 10%, 25%. none to police. so what i'm trying to say is, yes, we 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. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentlelady from new york, mrs. maloney.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. maloney: 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. 37 states have voted to legalize marijuana. its past time 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 been 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, re-entry assistance, legal aid, and health care. 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. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon's recognized. mr. bentz: thank you, 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. because if you don't have force, you can't control the cartels. to get law enforcement requires people. that requires money. and this bill doesn't allocate any to that purpose. so 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? with that, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from texas, mr. green. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. green: thank you. and still i rise, mr. nadler. thank you so much. i thank ms. lee, mr. perlmutter. and 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 the things that we need to succeed in the united states of america. i plan to support it. i ask that my colleagues support it because it's 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've been denied. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon.
mr. bentz: reserves. the speaker pro tempore: continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york's recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from louisiana, mr. carter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. carter: 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 wasting billions annually enforcing cannabis laws. this is money, time, and effort better spent on investing on true community safety. further, overwhelming americans want marijuana reform.
91% report they believe it should 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. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: thank you, mr. speaker. i just want to assure everyone that the police in oregon are not chasing those who are using mari marijuana. oregon legalized marijuana. what we're having trouble with are the consequences of that legalization. and that's what i'm trying to bring to the attention of folks today. if we're going to legalize on a national scale, then for goodness sakes, don't make the mistakes we made in oregon. put in appropriate law enforcement at least. by the way, we should put in a
lot of other things, too, that i previously mentioned. what 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. their presence, it's bad and local law enforcement can't take care of it. the assertion that f.b.i. and homeland security and d.e.a. 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'm saying is, you're going to do this, get it right. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york's recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, mr. bentz refers to the cartels. of course, there are cartels. of course, they're making money because they have a monopoly of supply of a substance that has a great demand. you pass this bill and those cartels will no longer have a monopoly. and the law enforcement, their
expenses will go down because they will not have to enforce the marijuana laws and the marijuana prohibition laws. they won't have to fight the cartels anymore because their supply will have been eliminated. i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentlelady from new jersey, mrs. watson coleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new jersey is recognized for a minute. mrs. watson coleman: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to everyone my colleague, barbara lee, acknowledged earlier. i rise in support of the more act and the countless families that have been disrupted because of 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 intertwined and the former cannot be achieved without the latter. by decriminalizing cannabis, we can reverse the trend of overincarceration and get one step closer to dismantling the system that racism is 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. i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair will advise managers, mr. nadler has 2 3/4 minutes. mr. bentz has 6 3/4 minutes left in his time. the gentleman from oregon. mr. bentz: in response to the assertion, once this bill passes, if it does, that suddenly the cartels will disappear sadly is not going to be true. that is because legal marijuana will be 30% more expensive than
that which is raised on the black market. that's why one has to be aware when one puts this kind of additional cost into this bill, 8%, on a gross basis -- i want to assure people, they need to understand the difference between net profit and gross. what's going to happen is the cartels will have a 30% benefit, advantage over privately raised marijuana. and so what i'm trying to say is, get this bill right. this isn't my thinking. this is people who have looked in this extremely carefully, people trying to do this legally. i'm saying this bill is incorrectly crafted on that level and many others. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentlelady from illinois, ms. schakowsky. the speaker pro tempore: ms. schakowsky is recognized for one minute. ms. schakowsky: i want to thank you, mr. chairman, for your leadership.
and 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 overpolicing, 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. so i urge all my colleagues today to vote yes on the more act. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to enter into the congressional record a list of multiple items. which i will now review. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bentz: policy statement from the american academy on child psychiatrist on marijuana and teens. the institute report on marijuana and impaired driving. next, the article from health.com titled, is marijuana addictive, by ashley. next, nbc news article, legalized marijuana linked to sharp rise in car crashes. next, denver post article entitled, are you high?
the science of testing impairment is hazy and evolving. and bloomberg, u.s. grapples to see how high users are. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, those are placed in the record. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentlelady from nevada, ms. titus. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from nevada is recognized for one minute. ms. titus: thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you, mr. chairman. 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 posttraumatic stress disorder after they have offered their lives, 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's time for the nation to follow suit. 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. i urge a yes vote on this bill. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the lady yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. . mr. bentz: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york, the chair will advise the managers, the gentleman from new york has 45 seconds. the gentleman from oregon -- 3/4. mr. nadler: for the purpose of unanimous consent request to the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee.
ms. jackson lee: i yield back the time i'm sure. let me submit health affairs culture of health chose the importance -- shows the importance of cannabis liberalization policy. center for american progress. ask unanimous consent to submit these leaders. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: reserves. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york prepared to close. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. bentz: prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. bentz: thank you, mr. speaker. this bill as i mentioned previously fails to appropriately fund the police in all the states that will be facing the challenges we face in oregon. this is not a question of money. the bill as drawn will be raising literally billions of
dollars. an 8% tax. over the next how many years. billions. so somehow some of that money has to make its way into law enforcement. without law enforcement you'll see situations like we have in southern oregon replicate across the nation. regardless of the optimistic thought that somehow the cartels no longer have the marijuana. monopoly, therefore it will go away. that's not the case as long as there is a higher price. in many cases a much higher price for legally produced marijuana. the bill fails to address impairment. my friends, many of them, in law enforcement space, including my brother, 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 heard, fails to address the ever increasing potency of the drug. it fails to address the age at which marijuana can be legally used. what's that about? we know this drug adversely affects, particularly young men's brains, development all the 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 that's such a small issue. it's a huge issue. it's a huge issue and it needs to be addressed. this bill is the proper vehicle to address these issues. i see there are some amendments being brought which perhaps will at least go partially in that direction. but the bill itself and the legalization is premature given the nature of those amendments. this is an untimely and incomplete bill. it's the great -- its greatest failure is in not recognizing and addressing the damage the drugs will do to our kids and communities. i strongly urge a no vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is
recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, last congress the house voted on a bipartisan basis to address this issue. unfortunately the senate failed to act. i'm pleased 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. federal laws have not kept pace with the obvious need for change. it's 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 the criminalization has taken, particularly on communities of color and low-income communities. i urge my colleagues to support >> middle and high school students participated in c-span's student documentary competition where we asked the question, how does the federal government impact your life? all month we're featuring the
winning entries. our second prize middle school winner is from r.d. smith middle cool in chapel hill, north carolina, where c-span is available through spectrum. their winning video is titled "our hands are tied." >> a study in 2017 found that 45% of americans have had an intars rated family member. black americans are incarcerated at about five times the rate of white americans and each year in prison takes two years of off an individual's life expectancy. >> the criminal justice system has many problems and criminal justice reform tries to solve them. criminal justice reform takes place throughout the system. one of the biggest problems in the criminal justice system is the huge race disparity through incarceration. one in four black