Historic Congressional Vote To Legalize Marijuana Is Expected Later This Week

Success in the House is only half the battle, however

Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) announced over the Thanksgiving weekend that the MORE Act, which would end the federal prohibition of cannabis, has been scheduled for a full floor vote this coming week.

The vote could happen as early as Wednesday evening.

Advocates expect the bill to pass; House leaders typically don’t bring a measure to the floor unless they know they have the votes. Passage of the MORE Act would mark the first time that the House or the Senate has ever voted as a full chamber on legislation to end the federal cannabis prohibition since it went into effect following the passage of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

After the House vote, an uphill climb in the Senate

Success in the House is only half the battle, however. The US Senate remains in the hands of Republicans and their leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). Many Republicans support legalization, but McConnell is a staunch prohibitionist who has declared that marijuana will not be legalized on his watch.

“This floor vote represents the first Congressional roll call ever on the question of ending federal marijuana criminalization,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “By advancing the MORE Act, the House of Representatives sends an unmistakable signal that America is ready to close the book marijuana prohibition and end the senseless oppression and fear that this failed policy wreaks on otherwise law-abiding citizens.”

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