Congressional committee approves bill to end marijuana ban


A U.S. House of Representatives committee passed a landmark bill that would end the federal marijuana ban, but the measure still has a long way to go to the president’s office.

The Marijuana Opportunities Reinvestment and Removal Act, 2019, better known as the MORE Act, would end the federal ban on marijuana while allowing states to regulate the plant as they see fit, as well as put in place funding and programs to enable eradication cannabis offenders and social equity within any potential federally legal pot industry.

Introduced by New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Democrat, the MORE law was passed 24-10 by the House Judiciary Committee, setting up a future House vote. However, Nadler’s role as chairman of the Judiciary Committee allowed for the bill to be scrambled quickly, and Republican officials do not seem to think the bill would receive Senate approval if passed by the Senate. Bedroom. Before the vote, many referred to the States Act, a Senate bill that would leave the legalization of marijuana to the states.

Colorado Congressman Ken Buck tried unsuccessfully to attach the States Act as an amendment to the MORE Act, saying the Senate was not likely to interfere with the MORE Act.

“We have failed for years to responsibly raise this issue,” Buck said. “The right bill would be passed by the House in a way that would require Senate action. When it comes to a bill like this, they would not address it.”

Colorado Representative Ken Buck has never been a fan of legalizing marijuana.  - JUDICIAL.MAISON.GOV

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck has never been a fan of legalizing marijuana.

The consensus among most Republicans on the committee, with the exception of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, was that the MORE Act is too, too soon. “The bill is almost devoid of bipartisan support,” said Republican Representative Doug Collins of Georgia. “Do we want to accomplish something, or just provide a political statement?”

Democrats on the committee argued that Congress had done little to address marijuana policy reform over the past few decades and did not approve of language in the state law that still allows for federal drug charges in states that would not allow legal marijuana.

According to Colorado Representative Joe Neguse, who is also a member of the committee, states with medical and recreational marijuana still need federal legalization to advance developments in the industry and medical research.

“Since the legalization of cannabis in Colorado, our state has developed a robust industry, generating over $ 927 million in state and local taxes and over $ 6 billion in total sales. Even still, there are still barriers at the federal level that hamper the ability of the cannabis industry to operate under federal law, ”he said in a statement. “I applaud President Nadler’s work to end the federal cannabis ban through this legislation and to correct long-felt injustices for cannabis-related offenses in the criminal justice system. In Colorado, this The legislation will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study the health effects of cannabis and to promote public policies that allow continued growth and opportunity in this industry.

While Congress has been slow to tackle cannabis, it has made some headway in recent times. Colorado Representative Ed Perlmutter’s Safe Banking Act, a measure that would allow banks and financial institutions to serve legal marijuana businesses, was passed by the House in September. Less than a week later, Perlmutter told a room of marijuana regulators and industry members that he was confident in the bill’s chances in the Senate.

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