The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to end the federal criminalization of marijuana with the passage of the MORE Act, a bill that would remove cannabis from the nation’s list of controlled substances. Marking the first time either body of Congress has considered a bill to legalize recreational marijuana, the measure passed by a margin of 228 to 164 in a mostly party-line vote supported by the House Democratic majority.
If passed by the Senate, which seems unlikely, and signed into law by the president, the MORE Act would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and allow the states to set their own cannabis regulation policies. The bill would also expunge convictions for many federal marijuana-related offenses and levy a commercial cannabis tax which would be invested in communities that have been harmed by the failed War on Drugs.
Additionally, the measure would allow physicians with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to write recommendations for medical cannabis in states that have legalized medical marijuana and would make cannabis businesses eligible for grants from the Small Business Administration.
“This historic vote sets the tone for marijuana reform going into the Biden Administration and the next Congress, Sam D’Arcangelo,