The U.S. House of Representatives — for only the second time in history — plans to vote next week on a federal Cannabis legalization bill, reports Marijuana Moment.
The House will debate the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, a bill sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). An earlier version cleared the chamber last session but later stalled in the then GOP-controlled Senate.
The bill would remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances and promote social equity in the industry. It would further seek to establish a process to expunge previous Cannabis-related convictions.
Federal MORE Act Passed House In 2020
The House Rules Committee announced Thursday that it will hold a hearing regarding the bill on Monday, reports The Hill. That is the final step before consideration on the floor.
House leaders have placed the marijuana bill on a list they plan to debate on the House floor next week. The Rules Committee will officially take up the measure in a meeting on Monday afternoon to prepare it for floor action. This will include determining which amendments will be allowed to advance.
“I have long believed that the criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake,” Nadler said last fall. ”The racially disparate enforcement of marijuana laws has only made it worse, with serious consequences, particularly for communities of color.”
Move Follows Democratic Meeting On Marijuana
The last time the MORE Act went before the House — in December 2020 — it passed with a 228-164 vote. Just five Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues in advancing the reform.
One of those five GOP Congressmen, Rep. Don Young (R-AK), died last week. He was one of bipartisan co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.
The legalization effort has a key ally in Democratic Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, even if Republican timidity means it may stall in the Senate.
Morgan Fox, political director of NORML, commented Thursday on the importance of “repairing the harms caused by America’s disastrous federal marijuana laws.”
The move to hold another vote on the cannabis legalization bill comes weeks after congressional Democrats held a closed-to-press session at a party retreat. The meeting included a panel largely centered on marijuana reform legislation.