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

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 employment screening and drug testing.

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 employment screening 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.

Sara Korolevich

Sara Korolevich is editor of the blog and responsible for communicating GoodHire’s product news, feature enhancements, and background check compliance updates. Sara’s public relations and communications experience stems from 20+ years working on public education campaigns, public policy, and most recently B2B marketing communications.


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