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[VIDEO] The MORE Act Would Legalize Marijuana at the Federal Level

If passed, the MORE Act would legalize marijuana at the federal level.

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If passed, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which would legalize marijuana at the federal level, would have major implications for employment law at both federal and state levels.

In this 2-minute video, GoodHire’s legal expert explains what employers should know about how the MORE Act and their own state laws affect pre-employment drug testing.

The bill still needs to be voted on, but if passed, would have major implications at both federal and state levels. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act would legalize marijuana at the federal level and expunge some marijuana-related criminal records, while leaving it up to the states to enact their own cannabis policies.

While marijuana use remains illegal at the federal level, 33 states have legalized medical marijuana use, and 11 states have also legalized recreational use. Complicating matters, several states (and New York City) have enacted protections for job seekers and employees who use marijuana.

In this video, Elizabeth McLean, GoodHire’s legal expert, explains why it’s important for employers to be aware of this bill, as well as their own states’ marijuana laws, for any impact they may have on pre-employment drug testing.

Watch The Video

In this compliance video, GoodHire's expert explains what the MORE Act is.

Video Transcript

In July of last year, the US House of Representatives introduced the MORE Act, or the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. It’s been gaining a lot of support in the House, both from democrats and some republicans. The Act would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act, also known as the CSA. If it becomes law, marijuana would no longer be a scheduled drug under the CSA. 

The Act would also help people with minor marijuana charges get those records expunged and would incentivize state and local governments to do the same. It’s also intended to help improve ownership opportunity for local and minority entrepreneurs who are wanting to get into the cannabis market. 

Now, the vote on the bill was supposed to occur this month, but it has now been pushed to November. The takeaway is that if the MORE Act passes, either now or in the future, it will provide individual states with the authority to set their own cannabis policy.

That means we could see a rush by states to clarify their own marijuana laws and their enforcement policies through legislation, and that’s going to result in more conflicting state-by-state marijuana regulations.

As employers, you’ll need to keep your eye on developments in state legislatures and in executive offices at the state level to make sure that you understand what marijuana laws exist in your state, and how they intersect with background checks and drug screening. 

GoodHire is going to follow this bill very closely as it moves through the House and we will keep you updated on its progress. As always, GoodHire has you covered.


The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.

About the Author

As GoodHire’s managing editor, Sara Korolevich produces educational resources for employers on a variety of employment screening topics, including compliance and screening best practices, and writes about GoodHire’s company and product news. Sara’s experience stems from 20+ years working as a B2C and B2B PR and communications professional.

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