Congress Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana
Congress is now considering a bill that would decriminalize Marijuana on a Federal level.
House Resolution 3884 (H.R.3884), or what is coming being called the MORE Act, was originally introduced in July of last year with a goal of removing Marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances. This would effectively decriminalize the possession and/or use of it. Low-level marijuana convictions and arrests would also be canceled and expunged from people's records.
This bill decriminalizes marijuana. Specifically, it removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.
-The US House of Representatives
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, which was originally sponsored by New York City Congressman Jerrold Nadler, sat in committee until late November when House leadership decided to move it out of committee for a full vote.
For the most part, this vote followed party lines with Democrats largely supporting the bill, while most Republicans voted against it. The final vote was 228-164, with 6 Dems voting no and 5 members of the GOP voting yes.
Just in case you were wondering how members of the Western New York congressional delegation voted on this bill, they following their party lines.
Representatives Brian Higgins (NY-26) of Buffalo and Joseph Morelle (NY-25) of Rochester voted for this bill, while Chris Jacobs (NY-27) of Orchard Park and Tom Reed (NY-23) of Corning voted against it.
With so many states having now made marijuana legal, it seems like it makes sense that it happens on a Federal level. However, only time will tell what happens.
This bill now moves into the United States Senate where it is expected to not be considered at all by the Republicans who are in control.