Congress Begins Debate On Marijuana Legalization Bill, With Final Vote Expected Friday

MJ moment

The House is officially taking a final step to advance a bill to federally legalize marijuana to a floor vote. Members on Thursday held a floor debate on a rule approved in committee the day prior that will set the procedural standard for voting on the legislation, which is expected Friday. They also talked more generally about the substance of the bill. A formal vote on the rule is expected later in the afternoon. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act would fundamentally restructure the nation’s cannabis policy, removing the plant from the Controlled Substances Act and expunging the records of those with prior marijuana convictions. The descheduling provisions would be retroactive. It passed out of the Judiciary Committee, headed by bill sponsor Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), last year. Advocates have been waiting ever since to see the historic piece of legislation move to the full chamber. Leadership initially said a vote would be held in September, but that plan was pushed back at the request of certain centrist Democrats who worried that it would be bad optics to approve cannabis reform being passing another coronavirus relief package. But the strategic thinking there is questionable, as some of those same lawmakers ended up losing their seats on the same Election Day that voters in several conservative states approved marijuana legalization ballot measures. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) then announced that the chamber would vote on the MORE Act in December. The proposal moved out of the Rules Committee on Wednesday, and members of that panel decided on a “closed” vote rule to make it so no additional amendments will be allowed on the floor. Watch the House debate the rule for the marijuana bill: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a longtime leader on cannabis reform in Congress, wore a mask…

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Source : Congress Begins Debate On Marijuana Legalization Bill, With Final Vote Expected Friday

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