House Committee Passes the MORE Act in Historic Vote for Marijuana
In a historic first, a House committee passed the MORE Act, the first bill to take the initial steps toward decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.
The legalization of marijuana at the federal level just took a giant step forward as a House committee passed the MORE Act.
The MORE Act removes marijuana from federal scheduling, but there are still many hurdles to pass before the Act becomes law. Step one in the process is a formal vote by the entire Democrat-controlled House where it is likely to pass. But the next major roadblock would be in the Republican-controlled Senate which could kill the bill on arrival or take up the vote but where it would face a stiff battle to get passed.
If the MORE Act did manage to get passed in the Senate it would then have to be signed into law by President Donald Trump. The proof of its herculean battle was evident in the House Judiciary Committee vote where it was approved by a margin of 24-10, mainly along partisan lines.
MORE Act Would Decriminalize Marijuana
The bill, which is formally named the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, was written by Democrat New York Rep. Jerry Nadler who is hoping to decriminalize marijuana.
“For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of a matter of personal choice and public health,” Nadler said in his opening statement.
“Whatever one’s views on the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating users at the federal level is unwise and unjust,” he said, CBS News reported.
MORE Act Makes History
While it is unlikely that this particular bill will become law anytime soon it does mark a historic first for marijuana legalization. It is the first time a Congressional committee has ever passed anything to take steps to legalize marijuana.
“If we can finally get a federal discrimination bill passed, it will have momentous effect for everyone. The social justice impact of something like that is huge when you look at how different social groups are impacted with cannabis laws,” Peninsula Alternative Health CEO Anthony Darby said, WMDT reported.
But, even with the House being Democrat-led, Democrats are divided on legalization which adds to the long odds the Act faces to become law.
Still, it is a first step on what appears to be a likely, eventual road to legalization.