U.S. House Vote on Legal Marijuana Expected Friday


A key U.S. House of Representatives committee on Wednesday formally advanced a bill to federally legalize marijuana to the floor, making in order a number of amendments and blocking others as part of a final rule. A full chamber vote is expected on Friday.

The House Rules Committee took up the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, discussing proposed revisions, mostly from GOP lawmakers seeking to insert additional restrictions into the reform measure, according to Marijuana Moments.

This the second time the MORE Act has made it to floor. Last year, the bill made it to the floor but was sent back for committee review.

The MORE Act, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances, promote equity in the industry and impose a federal tax on marijuana products to fund various initiatives.

At the start of Wednesday’s hearing, Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern said that the legislation would “address our nation’s failed approach to the war on drugs” and “put racial justice at the heart of our nation’s federal cannabis policy.”

He noted racial disparities in marijuana enforcement, emphasizing that “none of us should be OK with a system that treats people differently based on the color of their skin” and “no life should be destroyed by decades of failed policy.”

“It’s past time that we show the moral courage to do something about it,” McGovern said.