GOP Lawmakers Slam Marijuana Legalization Vote Planned In Congress This Week

MJmooment

Numerous Republican members of Congress are blasting House Democrats over a planned vote on a bill to federally legalize marijuana this week, dismissing the significance of the issue and arguing that it’s an inappropriate time to take it up. Specifically, most critics of the vote are saying that the House shouldn’t take action on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act until additional coronavirus relief is passed. The seemingly coordinated messaging from GOP members is familiar, as minority party members issued the same criticism when House leadership announced their intention to vote on the MORE Act in December. There was an earlier push to take action on the bill in September, but that plan was postponed following pushback from certain centrist Democrats who worried about the optics of advancing cannabis reform before passing another COVID-19 relief bill. It should also be noted that several of those same lawmakers ended up losing their seats on the same Election Day as voters in conservative states approved marijuana legalization ballot measures, calling into question their strategic thinking on the politics of cannabis. In any case, House Democrats did pass coronavirus legislation—on two occasions—that included provisions to protect banks that service state-legal marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal regulators. Republicans also sharply criticized that, asserting that it was not germane. Advocates expressed frustration over the decision to delay the initially planned vote on the MORE Act, but leadership promised that it would be brought up before the year’s end. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced last month that the chamber would consider the bill in December, and it was included in the schedule for this week. The House Rules Committee will take up the MORE Act on Wednesday to prepare it for floor action. The panel will decide which submitted amendments…

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Source : GOP Lawmakers Slam Marijuana Legalization Vote Planned In Congress This Week

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