House Passes Landmark Bill Legalizing Marijuana
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a Landmark Bill Legalizing Marijuana at the federal level, marking a major shift in the country’s approach to drug policy. The bill passed by a vote of 228-164, with bipartisan support from both Democrats and Republicans.
The MORE Act: Removing Marijuana from the List of Controlled Substances
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act would remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances and allow states to set their own regulations for the drug. The bill also includes provisions to expunge certain marijuana-related convictions and invest in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.
Supporters of this Landmark Bill Legalizing Marijuana Cite Reduction in Mass Incarceration and Tax Revenue
Supporters of the Landmark Bill Legalizing Marijuana argue that marijuana legalization would help reduce mass incarceration and generate tax revenue for states. They also point to the racial disparities in marijuana enforcement, with Black Americans being more likely to be arrested and incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses despite similar usage rates to white Americans.
Opponents Raise Concerns about Health Risks and Increased Drug Use
Opponents of the bill, however, raised concerns about the potential health risks of marijuana use and the potential for increased drug use among young people. Some also argued that legalization should be left up to individual states rather than the federal government.
A Step Forward in the Push for Marijuana Legalization
The bill is not expected to pass in the Republican-controlled Senate, but advocates see the vote as a step forward in the push for marijuana legalization. “Today’s vote is a significant milestone on the road to ending marijuana prohibition,” said Justin Strekal, political director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Growing Trend of Marijuana Legalization
The MORE Act’s passage in the House comes amid a growing trend of states legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use. Currently, 36 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, while 15 states and D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana.