Digesting the MORE Act Vote

Digesting the MORE Act Vote
Cannabtimes

<![CDATA[As the votes on a federal cannabis legalization bill were tallied in the U.S. House last Friday, a clear divide along party lines emerged just like on many other issues carving out that aisle in the Capitol. The final roll call was 220-204 in support of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which aims to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, provide expungements for those with cannabis offenses and impose a federal tax on cannabis to fund programs for those adversely affected by the drug war. RELATED: U.S. House Passes MORE Act, Again That was just the second time a full chamber of Congress voted on broad cannabis reform, but the outcome was more partisan than when the House voted, 228-164, in December 2020 to pass a previous version of the bill. In last week’s vote, only three Republicans broke party ties to support the measure: Reps. Matt Gaetz, Fla., Brian Mast, Fla., and Tom McClintock, Calif. Even fewer Democrats crossed the aisle to cast no votes: Reps. Henry Cuellar, Texas, and Chris Pappas, N.H. By comparison, six Democrats voted no, and five Republicans voted yes in 2020. So, why does cannabis reform appear to be a partisan issue among lawmakers in Washington, D.C., when legalization continues to pick up growing bipartisan support elsewhere? For example, states with traditional conservative ties, like Arizona, Montana and South Dakota, made moves to legalize adult-use cannabis in the 2020 election (although South Dakota’s voter-approved initiative was overturned). In the swing state of Ohio, a Gongwer Werth Legislative Opinion Poll from November 2021 revealed that Republican lawmakers in the state’s General Assembly were split down the line, with 43% in favor and 43% opposed to adult-use legalization (14% were undecided). Moreover, 68% of Americans support full legalization, according to a November Gallup Poll.…

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