Us Legislators Pass Reform Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana
A reform bill was enacted by the 116th US Congress to decriminalize marijuana and expunge convictions and penalties linked to non-violent marijuana.
However, the bill moves to legislate H.R. 3884, on the basis of a closed law, the Marijuana Incentive Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019.
According to a statement made by Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the MORE Act is a bill of common sense that will make a tangible difference in the lives of millions of Americans, as it is related to racial, economic, and moral justice values.
However, the bill also has to pass through the US Senate, although it is likely that, considering the complexities surrounding it and the failure to include a cost estimate in the committee report under Clause 3(d) of Rule XIII, the Senate will pass it.
However, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the US representative for the eastern section of the Bronx in New York, tweeted that 68 percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana.
South Dakota, Arizona, Montana, and New Jersey joined 11 additional states in legalizing it this year. Yet, marijuana is still listed as a dangerous drug by the federal government. The Senate needs to listen to the people of America and vote on this resolution.
Why this is important
The bill will decriminalize cannabis if eventually approved by the Senate, and also allow for reinvestment of those people adversely affected by the drug war, by the expungement of certain cannabis crimes, and for other purposes.
As a result, marijuana is deleted from the federal list of controlled drugs, and certain marijuana convictions are expunged for non-violent offenders.
The bill will also prohibit a person’s denial of federal public benefits on the basis of any actions or convictions related to cannabis.
What they are saying
The House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Jerry Nadler, who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn said:
“There is no reason for cannabis to be classified as a federally scheduled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The MORE Act reschedules cannabis, allowing states to establish their own marijuana regulations and providing medical marijuana access to veterans in need.”
“The MORE Act is a common-sense bill that will make a tangible, real difference in the lives of millions of Americans. I’m proud of this bill centered around ideals of racial, economic, and moral justice.”
“I’m so proud that the MORE Act passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 228 to 164. I introduced this bill to provide restorative justice, modernize America’s cannabis laws, and deliver meaningful investments to America’s communities & small businesses.”
On the other hand, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Earl Blumenauer, who represents Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District, while speaking at Capitol Hill during the House session on Friday said:
“We are here because we have failed three generations of Black and Brown young people, whose lives can be ruined or lost, by selective enforcement of these laws.
This Legislation will end that disaster. It’s time for the Congress to step up and do its part”
Things you have to know
- Recreational marijuana is now legal in 15 states and Washington DC, while Medical marijuana is also legal in 34 states of the 50 States of the USA.
- The MORE Act has seen a lot of critical views by people who believe the bill to decriminalize marijuana is not serious, as there is no interest in moving this bill in the upper chamber and no interest in supporting it in either the current administration or the incoming one.
- Earlier this week, Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, criticized the House for passing the cannabis bill, instead of focusing on a COVID-19 stimulus bill that both parties reportedly have agreed upon.