Key House committee sends marijuana legalization bill to floor for vote

A key House committee advanced a bill to federally legalize marijuana on Wednesday, clearing its path to a floor vote that leadership said will come on Friday. While several amendments to the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act were submitted to the Rules Committee, most were not deemed in order for floor consideration. A manager’s amendment offered by the bill’s sponsor, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), will be attached under the rule approved by the panel, however. This was the last step before the bill is taken up by the full chamber, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said in a briefing with reporters that it will start with debate on Thursday, a day ahead of the final vote. Under the rule approved by the panel in a voice vote, the legislation will be closed to further amendments on the floor, and members defeated a Republican proposal to keep the bill open to changes. There will be one hour of debate on the bill in the House, and that time will be “equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member” of the Judiciary Committee. The bill’s consideration was a historic development for cannabis reform advocates. If the Democratic-controlled House ultimately approves the legislation, it would mark the first time that a chamber of Congress voted not just to protect state marijuana programs from federal interference but to formally deschedule the plant. Watch the Rules Committee hearing on the MORE Act below: Rules Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) said in his opening remarks that the legislation “will reform the disastrous war on drug laws,” and its advancement “is a testament to the many Americans who have pushed Congress to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level for many years now.” It also “brings restorative justice to so many…

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Source : Key House committee sends marijuana legalization bill to floor for vote

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