The US House Of Representatives took a historic step today in the fight to decimalize marijuana on a federal level. The House voted to pass the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act on Friday, which would decriminalize marijuana and expunge nonviolent marijuana-related convictions. The vote passed 228-164 according to Vice, with 5 Republicans and an independent joining most Democrats for the bill. Six democrats and most Republicans opposed it.
The bill would remove marijuana from the Control Substances Act, where it is a schedule 1 drug with heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms above cocaine and meth. It would also authorize a 5% tax on marijuana that would fund community and small business grant programs to benefit those who have been most impacted by the way on drugs, especially marijuana.
The bill seemingly has little chance of passing this Senate, who don’t have much of an appetite for marijuana legislation at the moment (vote Georgia!) and say they are more focused on COVID relief.
However, this is a huge moment as it is the first in the battle to legalize marijuana on the federal level. Weed is legal for recreational use in 15 states and 35 states have legalized it for medical use. A Gallopp poll in November found 68% of Americans favor marijuana legalization. It is time that Congress acts on the will of the people like they were elected and being paid to to do.