A Republican on the House Judiciary Committee said Republicans would oppose the bill and that “it is even less likely that the Senate would take it up.”
The campaign to decriminalize marijuana overcame a historic congressional hurdle this week, but opponents and some supporters acknowledge the legislation faces serious obstacles.
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 24-10 to approve the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE, which would remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances, where it’s now banned alongside powerful drugs like heroin and LSD.
The bill would require federal courts to expunge convictions for marijuana offenses and authorize a 5 percent tax on marijuana sales to encourage minority communities to enter the cannabis business.
It’s believed to be the first time a congressional committee has backed legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Eleven states and Washington, D.C., have already done so.
But major roadblocks must be cleared before the measure can ever become law.
For one, the Judiciary Committee is only the first committee to have taken up the bill; it also has been introduced in seven other House committees, any or all of which could alter the debate. [Read More @ NBC]