U.S. Lawmakers to Vote on Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

U.S. lawmakers are gearing up to vote on whether marijuana should be removed from the Controlled Substances Act in a landmark committee hearing this week.

The House Judiciary Committee has posted a markup for HR 3884, cited as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019. It aims to decriminalize and de-schedule marijuana at a federal level, while reimbursing individuals adversely impacted by the war on drugs and expunging certain cannabis convictions.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California is sponsoring the bipartisan MORE Act as S 2227. It features several reforms that marijuana activists have been campaigning for.

The markup is set for Wednesday, Nov. 20, and a vote in the House Judiciary Committee could take place on that day or soon thereafter. That would start the ball rolling on the process decriminalizing cannabis at a national level.

“This has never happened in the history of our country and it is thanks to all the time and effort folks have put in for decades,” said Erik Altieri, executive director at campaign group NORML (the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws).

He added that the MORE Act is no mere half measure and that it contains many important reforms. NORML has created a page that allows Americans to write to their representatives urging them to support the MORE Act.

It would remove marijuana and THC from the Controlled Substances Act and incentivize states to create expungement policies for residents with minor cannabis-related convictions. It would also set up a program run by the Small Business Administration, which would assist small cannabis businesses owned by economically and socially disadvantaged Americans.

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The MORE Act would also allow physicans linked to the Veterans Administration to offer cannabis for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, pain management and anxiety if they live in states where medical marijuana is legal.

Harris is a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, but she has become a considerable outsider after losing momentum in recent weeks. She was previously opposed to marijuana legalization, but she now joins the likes of Bernie Sanders in supporting it.

Joe Biden, second in the betting to win the nomination after Elizabeth Warren, has just said he would not legalize marijuana for recreational purposes as he fears it could become a gateway drug.

The opinions provided in this article are those of the author and do not constitute investment advice. Readers should assume that the author and/or employees of Grizzle hold positions in the company or companies mentioned in the article. For more information, please see our Content Disclaimer.

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Categories: Marijuana Politics
Martin Green: Martin Green is an experienced journalist with a strong focus on the cannabis, alcohol, and gambling industries. He is particularly interested in the political issues affecting the global marijuana trade, and he has a keen focus on regulation changes and legal topics. He holds a BA English Literature, MA Creative Writing and a National Qualification in Journalism diploma. He has worked in journalism since 2009 and written for a broad range of newspapers, business titles and magazines, including The Sun, The Metro, The Journal, Livestrong, Drinks Retailing News, Harpers, Sportsbook Review, Vital Football, Essex Live and Surrey Live.
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