Update: House passes bill to decriminalize cannabis on federal level

Update: House passes bill to decriminalize cannabis on federal level

On December 4, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives votes to pass a bill that would decriminalize marijuana on the federal level. This is the first time the U.S. has voted on marijuana decriminalization on its own.

The vote was passed with a vote of 228-164.

Also known as the MORE Act (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement), the bill will remove the drug from the Controlled Substances Act and instead allow states the power to enact their own rules on the drug.

The bill also removes federal criminal penalties for those who manufacture, distribute or possess cannabis.

This bill resolves the conflict between state and federal laws regarding marijuana. The bill was introudced by Rep. Jerry Nadler from New York. As he stated before the historic vote:

“I have long believed that the criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake, and the racially disparate enforcement of marijuana laws has only compounded this mistake, with serious consequences, particularly for communities of color,”

Rep. Jerry Nadler

The MORE act will impose a 5% sale tax on marijuana and its products. That revenue will go towards a grant program meant to help people impacted by the War on Drugs. Stay tuned on this story in the coming days.

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