MORE Vote Postponed, But Support Remains High Among Democratic, Republican Voters

Washington, DC:  Majorities of Republican and Democratic voters support Congressional passage of the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act (a/k/a The MORE Act), according to survey data compiled by the Justice Collaborative Institute and Data for Progress.  

Seventy percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Republicans say that they support the measure’s passage, which is consistent with polling data compiled earlier this year. House leadership had pledged to hold a floor vote on the Act this week, but then abruptly postponed the vote until after the election.

“The decision to push back a vote on the MORE Act not only calls Democrats’ prioritization of racial and criminal justice issues into question, but it also shows a complete disregard for the will of the majority of the American people who are ready for reform,” the Justice Collaborative stated in a press release. “Failing to pass legislation decriminalizing marijuana use could be an electoral risk come November.”

Sixty-seven percent of the poll’s respondents – including 73 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Republicans – agreed that the “federal government should respect the rights of individual states that have already legalized marijuana sales and not pursue actions against them.” By removing cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act in a manner similar to alcohol, as is proposed by The MORE Act, individual states – not the federal government – would become the primary regulators of marijuana policy.

“While it is disappointing that House Democrats chose to punt on a bill that reflects the will of the American people, it is crucial that concerned citizens hold Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and the Democratic Majority to his public commitment to have a vote before the end of the year,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “In the meantime, NORML will still be calling on every incumbent to declare their position on the MORE Act and every challenger running for office to make public their position on marijuana policy reform and whether they support freedom and legalization or oppression and prohibition.”

Specific to the question of legalizing marijuana for adults, 59 percent of respondents said that “police should stop arresting” people for possessing cannabis, and 55 percent said that engaging in marijuana sales should no longer be a criminal offense.

The full text of the survey appears online. Additional information on the MORE Act is available from NORML.