While the bill passed the House, it is not expected to pass the Senate
In a historic move, the US House of Representatives took the unprecedented first step in decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level. The bill, H.R. 3884, is the first of its kind to be passed by a federal governing body.
“It is the right thing to do,” said Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), one of the co-sponsors of the MORE Act. “For too long, the war on drugs has targeted young people, especially black people, and rejected the advice of experts.” Blumenauer held his congressional earlier this year against Republican challenger Joanna Harbour.
Essentially, the MORE Act would work as a lever flipping the off switch on the long standing war on cannabis by opening up the states to the broader industry. More importantly, it would also give investors in the cannabis industry more breathing room, thus allowing for new capital to feel safe and allowing more people more opportunities in the marketplace. In addition to removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act it also had several other provisions according to Congress.gov.
- replaces statutory references to marijuana and marihuana with cannabis,
- requires the Bureau of Labor Statistics to regularly publish demographic data on cannabis business owners and employees,
- establishes a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in communities impacted by the war on drugs,
- imposes a 5% tax on cannabis products and requires revenues to be deposited into the trust fund,
- makes Small Business Administration loans and services available to entities that are cannabis-related legitimate businesses or service providers,
- prohibits the denial of federal public benefits to a person on the basis of certain cannabis-related conduct or convictions,
- prohibits the denial of benefits and protections under immigration laws on the basis of a cannabis-related event (e.g., conduct or a conviction),
- establishes a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses, and
- directs the Government Accountability Office to study the societal impact of cannabis legalization.
While the bill passed the House of Representatives, it is currently not expected to pass the Republican controlled Senate. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) is the only Republican in the both chambers of congress to co-sponsor the bill saying during the December 4th hearing that “It won’t pass the Senate. It won’t become law. But then we should come back in the 117th Congress, and we should truly do more for our people.” He ended up not voting on the bill while his Republican colleagues all voted no. 3 Democrats joined the Republicans in voting against the bill as well. Ed Case (D-Hawaii), Jared Golden (D-Maine), and Conor Lamb, (D-Pennsylvania).
Learn More About The MORE Act: Click Here