A group of four state attorneys general, together with 50 current or former law enforcement officials, have written to Congressional leaders urging them to vote on and pass a bill that would federally legalize marijuana.
In their letter that was signed and delivered on Wednesday, the law enforcement experts say that it would be more helpful to regulate and control marijuana instead of criminalizing and prohibiting the substance. They add that the ongoing pandemic brings to light how urgent it is to make these reforms as a matter of public safety, health and to put scarce law enforcement resources to better use.
One possible starting point they suggest is the passing of the MORE Act which is awaiting a House floor vote after it was passed last year by the House Judiciary Committee. There are unconfirmed reports that this bill is due to be voted on in September on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The coalition also points out in their letter that legalizing marijuana would go a long way towards repairing the strained relationship between law enforcement officers and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect. Federal marijuana legalization would also result in a change of approach from punishing and criminalizing people who use drugs to treating them so that they can recover.
LEAP, or the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, was in charge of getting together the law enforcement officials who signed the letter sent to Congress. The attorneys general who signed include the one for Minnesota, Delaware, Oregon and the one for New York State. One of the former attorneys general of Ohio also signed the letter, and so did representatives of the National Black Police Association. Dozens of former and current prosecutors as well as several police officials also appended their signatures to the letter.
“We ask all members of Congress to support the critical piece of legislation before them so that the bill is quickly brought for a floor vote in the House,” the law enforcement professionals urged.
The letter from the law enforcement officials comes at a time when a poll commissioned by LEAP found that nearly six in ten voters support federal marijuana legalization and the support grew once the poll participants were told the contents of the MORE Act. The survey also revealed that bipartisan support exists for reinvesting some of the tax revenue generated from marijuana sales into the communities which suffered the brunt of the failed war on drugs. Experts say this social justice component is precisely what the entire cannabis industry, including Pure Extracts Corp., has been advocating for.
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