Congress passes "MORE Act" to decriminalize marijuana
Members of the US Congressional House of Representatives recently voted in favor of full legalization of cannabis. The approval of the Republican Senate is still required and is not certain to be obtained. If so, records of non-violent cannabis offenses will be removed and a 5% federal tax will be levied on legal trade in countries that approve it.
The MORE law will decriminalize cannabis and this is the first time Congress has voted on the issue
Overwhelmingly, members of the United States Congress voted to legalize cannabis in the United States, at the federal level. 228 members of Congress (222 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 1 Independent) voted in favor of abolishing cannabis use and allowing legal commerce, against 164 votes against (158 Republicans and 6 Democrats).
While final approval of the law is still required by the Senate and the President's signature, this is the first time in history that members of the United States House of Representatives have voted in favor of such initiative.
To date, 15 US states have already approved legalization in their territory, subject to a Cole Memo of former President Obama (Cole Memorandum), but the federal ban remains in effect. Meaning: Prohibition of trade between countries of the United States, Prohibition of the management of bank accounts for companies in the sector even in countries where it is legal.
The historic vote reflects public opinion and a Gallup poll showed that 68% of Americans support the legalization of cannabis.
Under the recently approved bill (MORE Law, acronym for "Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and ExpungementCannabis has been removed from the list of dangerous drugs in federal law and its users will not be discriminated against.
Another bill on the table is the SAFE Act, which seeks to keep the legal status of cannabis unchanged, but allow federal government banks to open bank accounts for legal cannabis businesses and receive funds that are currently considered drug money under federal law.
In about two months, Joe Biden is expected to enter the White House and replace Donald Trump as President of the United States. Biden supports his opposition to the regulation of a legal cannabis market for adults, to legalization, and was for the first time willing to agree to support the non-criminalization of consumers only. Her future deputy, Kamla Harris, has expressed full support for legalization and even noted that she was wrong when she opposed it in the past.
The industry and its supporters don't want to get too excited just yet. The United States House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday to end the federal cannabis ban. But the vote on landmark legislation, which, if enacted, would be crucial to the emerging multi-billion dollar cannabis industry and broader social justice movements, is ultimately largely symbolic.
Cannabis won a big victory in Congress, but legal weed isn't around the corner.
For now, the House will likely be the last stop on the line of the Marijuana Opportunities Reinvestment and Write-off Act 2019 (MORE law), which would effectively legalize cannabis by removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and creating a shared federal state. control of cannabis programs - although this does not require states to legalize. The bill would also lower barriers to research, solve current banking and tax problems, eliminate some cannabis offenses, and further diversify the industry's efforts. Although public sentiment for cannabis legalization has increased, all members of Congress - notably Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - don't feel the same way. "I would give him less than a chance to get into the Senate," said John Hudak, drug policy expert, deputy director of the Brookings Institution think tank's Center for Effective Public Management.
Earlier this week, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs removed cannabis from its list of dangerous drugs , an initiative that could accelerate global medical cannabis research and legalization efforts. This decision could affect the way the US DEA approaches cannabis.