A House Committee Voted to End Federal Cannabis Prohibition
For the first time, the House Judiciary Committee voted 24-10 to federally reschedule cannabis and address social equity.
On November 20, the House Judiciary Committee voted 24-10 to federally reschedule cannabis and address social equity in an attempt to end cannabis prohibition for the first time ever.
“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 minority communities,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) stated on the House floor.
The move represents the first time a congressional committee has voted to approve cannabis legalization legislation, versus simply debating whether to end the prohibition of cannabis.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act calls for a 5% federal tax on cannabis sales. That revenue would be used to fund programs and provide legal aid to people affected by cannabis prohibition. It would also provide small business loans for communities with less economic advantage.
The legislation would also expunge records for people with prior weed convictions, as well as provide for resentencing and block federal agencies from denying public benefits as a result of cannabis use.
Next, the full U.S. House will vote on the MORE Act. If the bill passes the House, it will then move into the GOP-controlled Senate, where it’ll face much more scrutiny.