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Votes Of The House To Decriminalize Marijuana, But It Is Unlikely That It Does It Away In The Republican Senate

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The House of Representatives held a historic vote Friday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act was passed in a 228-to-164 vote that marked the first time either chamber of Congress has voted on federal decriminalization of cannabis. The drug remains illegal under federal law and shares the same drug classification (Schedule 1) as heroin, ecstasy and LSD.

“I’m so proud that the MORE Act passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 228 to 164,” Representative Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) wrote on Twitter. “I introduced this bill to provide restorative justice, modernize America’s cannabis laws, and deliver meaningful investments to America’s communities & small businesses. Now, let’s make it law.”

The legislation would also expunge prior marijuana convictions; impose a federal tax on sales of the drug; provide funding for small marijuana businesses; and allocate revenue to people most affected by prior drug enforcement laws.

“This week, your House Democrat majority is tackling the tough issues by holding a vote on legalizing pot and banning tiger ownership,” McCarthy tweeted. “Nothing for small businesses. Nothing for re-opening schools. Nothing on battling the pandemic. Just cannabis and cats.”

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell said, “The House of Representatives is spending this week on pressing issues like marijuana. You know, serious and important legislation befitting this national crisis,”

Newsweek contacted McConnell’s office for comment on the legislation’s future in the Senate but did not hear back in time for publication.

On the U.S. Capitol’s East Lawn, activists from DC Marijuana Justice wave flags during an October 8, 2019, rally demanding that Congress pass cannabis reform. On Friday, the House of Representatives voted to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

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