This Friday, April 1st, the United States House of Congress again approved a bill to remove marijuana from the federal list of dangerous drugs. Approval in the Senate is currently awaited.
The so-called “Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act” (MORE) was voted along party lines, 220 in favor, 204 against, and only three Republicans joined the Democratic majority.
The MORE law would decriminalize at the federal level the possession, sale and production of marijuana, which is currently considered by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as an equivalent to LSD, cocaine or heroin. In practice, however, individual states could still prosecute their citizens under state law.
“(The text) considers marijuana as a public health problem rather than as a crime and would serve to correct the high cost that its criminalization causes in disadvantaged communities and communities of color“, said Democrat Jerrold Nadler, the main author of the proposal.
BREAKING: The House just passed a bill that would legalize marijuana and expunge marijuana-related convictions and arrests. I was proud to support it. pic.twitter.com/niayqwwXJg
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) April 1, 2022
It should be noted that the proposal would introduce a 5% tax on the sale of marijuana and its derivatives, to finance the care and reintegration of the victims of the war on drugs.
You may also like: NASA space telescope makes unprecedented discovery
“Small businesses and members of marginalized communities who have been disproportionately victims of prohibition can benefit from the opportunities created by a regulated marijuana market“, assures Aaron Smith of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA).
On the other hand, opponents of the measure insist on the dangers of addiction, especially among young people, and traffic accidents by drivers who have consumed it.
“A lot of people use marijuana, when it’s legalized at the federal level, even more people will do it and the level of danger will increase” said Cliff Bentz, a Republican lawmaker.