Bill to legalize marijuana passes U.S. House of Representatives, but bleak prospects in Senate
The United States House of Representatives passed Friday, a bill to end the federal ban on cannabis, which remains a problem for consumers and businesses in states that have already legalized. But it would seem that this measure has little chance of passing the Senate.
Few Republicans supported this measure. The MORE law to ban cannabis from the list of dangerous drugs and allow legal trade at the federal level in the United States (legalization) was voted on in the United States Congress and approved by a majority of 220 to 204 The next stage, the vote in the Senate, will be more difficult to pass due to opposition from Republicans.
Le Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act removes marijuana from the list of controlled substances and reverses the criminal penalties for the distribution, possession, and cultivation of this product. This project was sponsored by Democrat Jerrold Nadler, who himself is in the process of legalizing cannabis.
Before landing on Joe Biden's desk, the MORE Act will need to get 60 votes in the Senate, but with the Senate split into two equal halves, a favorable outcome is seen as unlikely, given the lack of support from Republicans.
The bill “would end decades of unsuccessful and unjust marijuana policy,” Democratic Representative Ed Perlmutter said in the House of Representatives Thursday, ahead of the vote. “It is clear that prohibition is over. Today we have the opportunity to chart a new course on federal cannabis policy that actually makes sense.
He added that the bill does not force any state to legalize marijuana.
Marijuana consumers and the companies that sell it face a complex legal patchwork in the United States, where 37 states have legalized the substance in one form or another – for recreational or medical use – while 13 states ban it. always completely.
With federal law classifying cannabis as an illegal drug with no medical use, researchers are severely limited in how they can study the drug and its effects, making policy difficult to write. Cannabis businesses are also largely locked into the US banking system due to federal prohibition.
Republican Rep. Michelle Fischbach called the legislation "not only flawed but dangerous," arguing in the House that it does not protect minors and would encourage people to open marijuana businesses.
Legalization is hugely popular among Americans: a 2021 Pew Research Center poll found that 91% agreed with allowing medical or recreational use.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has proposed his own bill to legalize marijuana and has pledged to introduce it in April.