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Cannabis Legalization Bill Passes Historic First House Committee Vote

MORE Act clears Judiciary Committee, but will need to get through seven more groups before hitting House floor

The House Judiciary Committee approved a new bill to end cannabis prohibition Wednesday, marking the first time a marijuana legalization bill has been approved by Congressional committee.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act passed out of committee by a vote of 24 to 10. Two Republican representatives, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Tom McClintock of California, joined the 22 democrats who voted for the bill.

New York Democrat and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler introduced the MORE Act, which would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level by removing it from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It also includes a focus on restorative justice, giving states incentives to expunge the criminal records of people with low-level marijuana offenses and instating a five percent tax on cannabis products that would go towards programs benefiting communities hit hardest by the War on Drugs.

“These steps are long overdue,” Nadler said in a statement. “For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of a matter of personal choice and public health.  Whatever one’s views on the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating users at the federal level is unwise and unjust.” [Read More @ Rolling Stone]

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