PRESS RELEASE: House Judiciary Passes Marijuana Bill 24–10

Law Enforcement Organization Endorses The MORE Act, Releases Public Statement

This morning, the US House Judiciary Committee passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act in a 24–10 vote, paving the way for a full vote on the House floor. Yesterday, Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) executive director Major Neill Franklin (Ret.) spoke at a press conference hosted by Chairman Nadler announcing today’s vote. Below is Maj. Franklin’s reaction to the MORE Act’s passage through committee:

“As a retired narcotics officer, I stand by the two-thirds of Americans who want marijuana to be legal for adults. I can’t think of a single marijuana possession arrest I made during my 34-year career as a police officer that made my community safer. The MORE Act is about more than simply allowing people to purchase marijuana legally; it’s about righting the wrongs of our failed experiment with marijuana prohibition.”

- Police Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of LEAP and 34-year police veteran of the Baltimore City Police and Maryland State Police Departments.

To speak with Maj. Franklin or another law enforcement professional who supports legalizing marijuana, please contact Mikayla Hellwich at Media@LawEnforcementAction.org.

The MORE Act would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, expunge many marijuana offense records, and reinvest in communities most harmed by marijuana prohibition. The bill was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and a companion bill was introduced by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) in the Senate.

Legalizing marijuana would help law enforcement focus on the serious issues that matter most to communities. With more than half a million arrests in the US each year — even after many states have legalized marijuana — police resources are being squandered on a policy that a majority of Americans oppose. A new poll shows that two-thirds of Americans support legalizing marijuana. Crimes against people and property and their victims deserve our attention, not marijuana offenses, whose biggest harms (criminal control, collateral consequences of arrest, sales to minors) come from the drug being illegal and unregulated.

When marijuana is legal, otherwise innocent people are less likely to come into unnecessary contact with the justice system, which should improve public perceptions of police and, ultimately, public safety. In addition to disrupting many undeserving individuals’ lives, marijuana arrests brew resentment between civilians and the police sworn to protect them. Without trust, people don’t pick up the phone or answer the door to talk to us about real crime. Marijuana legalization will help police solve crimes and keep communities safer.

LEAP stands by policies that we know will contribute to greater public safety and better relationships between police and communities. We are proud to endorse the MORE Act.

The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) is a nonprofit group of police, judges, prosecutors, and other justice system professionals who use their expertise to promote evidence-based solutions to public safety problems. To keep our speakers at the forefront of criminal justice reform, we need your help. Donate here.

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