Over $4.2 million in lobbying money was spent on behalf of the marijuana and cannabis industry in 2021.
Recently, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 was passed by the House of Representatives. This MORE Act would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances and create a tax on cannabis products.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is due to file a separate legislation, the Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act, this month to federally legalize cannabis. Schumer, among the top recipients of the marijuana lobby, received $20,300 in donations last year by the industry.
Another leading Democrat, Jerry Nadler from New York, says his legislation would “provide resources for programs that minimize barriers to marijuana licensing and employment for individuals adversely affected by the war on drugs.”
The marijuana industry gave Nadler $2,500 in 2021, two years after he introduced the first version of the MORE Act in July 2019.
As of April, 2022, 37 states, four territories and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana while at least 15 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuna.
The bill is unlikely to become law since it is expected to die in the Senate just as previous attempts did. If the MORE Act is signed into law, states would not be required to adopt legalization legislation and would maintain a degree of regulatory oversight.
The only Republican co-sponsor of the MORE Act bill is Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.). He accepted more money from the marijuana industry than any other member of Congress with $52,100 in contributions since his election in 2017.
Co-sponsor, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), is Congress’ second-highest recipient of marijuana money, receiving $50,970 from the industry since he took office in 1996.
Democrat Barbara Lee of California became a co-sponsor of the bill after receiving $9,154 from the marijuana industry in 2020, and over $37,000 during her tenure.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), a member of the House Rules Committee who joined his colleagues in advancing the MORE Act to the House floor, has $9,750 from the industry.
Other co-sponsors of the MORE Act who have taken over $5,000 from the marijuana industry during their time in Congress include Democrats Dina Titus (Nev.), Diana DeGette (Colo.), Eric Swalwell (Calif.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.) and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.)
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