It’s a party up in the House this week. Over in one corner of the House of Representatives, you’ve got the all-day reality TV show that is the public impeachment hearingsbefore the House Intelligence Committee. But the HIC isn’t having all the fun. At the very same time some reps were trying to roast President Trump’s feet over the fire, others are just trying to make it easier to roast a blunt.
On Wednesday the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would deschedule cannabis from the list of controlled substances, effectively making weed legal from sea to shining sea.
In a vote of 24-10, the committee passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, as reported by The Hill. If the measure is not claimed by another committee, it will go to the floor for a vote by the entire House of Representatives, who could probably all use a toke right about now.
The passing of the MORE Act has widely been seen as a landmark in U.S. cannabis policy. It is the furthest any legalization bill has ever gotten in the legalization process.
If passed, the measure would remove marijuana entirely from the Controlled Substances Act, putting it on par with substances like alcohol and tobacco.
The MORE Act would also allow all cannabis convictions nationwide to be expunged and would possibly lead to a mass exodus of drug convicts from prisons.
Other major changes to federal cannabis policy would include the formation of the Cannabis Justice Office, which would implement a a 5% tax on all legal cannabis.
In addition, the move would allow doctors in the Veterans Affairs office to prescribe medical cannabis (so long as it’s permitted in their state) and permit cannabis-related business to apply for grants and loans through the Small Business Administration.
The bill’s passing was celebrated by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which wrote in a press release, “For the first time, a Congressional committee has approved far-reaching legislation to not just put an end to federal marijuana prohibition, but to address the countless harms our prohibitionist policies have wrought, notable on communities of color and other marginalized groups.”Photo via Flickr/Philip Bump