A Federal Marijuana Legalization Bill Is On The Way To The House
Marijuana Prohibition May Come To An End With House Vote Ahead
The House Will Vote On A Federal Marijuana Bill As Early As Next Week
With the SAFE Banking Act now on its way to the Senate another federal reform bill is getting red for a House vote. A new bill to federally legalize marijuana will soon be voted on by House Judiciary Committee. Which is set for some time during this week. The Committee stated this past week that this bill has come shortly after the House approved the SAFE Banking Act. The cannabis banking measure was passed as a measure attached to a defense bill. This banking legislation would protect financial institutions that work with legal marijuana businesses. This protection would be against any federal regulators.
As well the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act created by Jerrold Nadler will receive a markup on Wednesday. The group will analyze many pieces of legislation during the assemblage according to a press release. That incorporates his proposal to “decriminalize marijuana federally and invest in communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs,” Nadler said.
“Many of these bills were reported out of the committee and passed by the full House of Representatives last Congress, and I look forward to working with all my colleagues once again to get these bills through Congress and on to the president’s desk,” the chairman said.
Pushing Forward With Federally Legalizing Marijuana
Back in 2020, the MORE Act was faced with the unfortunate fate of not being passed once it reached the Senate. Particularly with the GOP control. Now with the MORE Act on its way back for another vote this time advocates have more confidence. Especially with the chairman’s bill being voted by the Democrats who run both chambers. As well as the White House plus the increase of states that are working to legalized cannabis.
The legislation would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This bill would also grant people with cannabis convictions to have their records expunged. In addition to generating a federal tax on marijuana. To where the revenue from this tax would be used to help community reinvestment and other programs.
It also includes language to construct a road for resentencing for those incarcerated for cannabis offenses. The language also states it will protect immigrants from being denied citizenship over marijuana. As well as stop federal agencies from refusing public aid or security clearance due to its use.
“We are excited to see Chairman Nadler and House leadership move forward once again with passing the MORE Act,” Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, said. “Public support and state-policy demand for repealing federal marijuana criminalization has never been higher and Congressional action on this legislation is long overdue. The days of federal marijuana prohibition are numbered.”
The Next Step For Federally Legal Marijuana In The U.S.
With both cannabis banking and federal legalization but up for another vote some have their opinion on the matter. Meaning some are puzzled on which piece of federal reform should pass first. Being as the SAFE Banking Act has been denied 5 times. As for where the comprehensive legalization bill passed the chamber for the first time in late 2022.
Legalization advocates do want to see the bill from Rep. Ed Perlmutter become law. As there are public safety concerns due to the all-cash businesses model the cannabis industry runs on. It would take a significant step moving in the direction of normalizing the thriving industry. However, those in support of social equity claim that passing the incremental reform would be one-sided. What this means is it would benefit large marijuana businesses. To which it avoids discussing the harms of cannabis criminalization.
The future of the cannabis banking bill is expected to be determined in a meeting with the Senate. Which has not incorporated the policy change in its National Defense Authorization Act. So this is where important legislators have emphasized that they will push for broader reform. Particularly before passing the incremental change allowing it to become law.
Independently, Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden, and Sen. Cory Booker are also creating a federal legalization bill of their own. Furthermore weeks after the releasing a public comment period no final language has been filed. As of now, it’s not set in stone is Schumer will be able to obtain enough votes to pass the comprehensive reform through his chamber.
The End Of Marijuana Prohibition May Soon Happen In The USA
As far as President Joe Biden’s stance on the matter his has stance is in opposition to legalizing recreational marijuana. Yet he does favor more modest reform for instance decriminalizing cannabis and expunging prior records. As well as allowing legal states to establish their own marijuana policies. There’s an open question about whether Biden would be moved to sign a broad bill like the MORE Act. Yet maybe Biden would sign the Senate legalization legislation should such a proposal reach his desk.
With regard to the MORE Act, the newest version does not incorporate language that was added prior to last year’s House floor vote. That 2020 version had language that would have stopped those with previous cannabis convictions. Specifically from obtaining federal marijuana business permits. That was a contentious provision that surfaced at the last second and which advocates strongly objected to it.
And whereas the last version of the bill had language to help economically disadvantaged people enter the legal marijuana market. That language was changed to reach Small Business Administration aid, For things such as loans, financial literacy programs, and job training. This would be done to help people who have been hurt by the war on drugs seek business opportunities in any enterprise, beyond marijuana.
Final Thoughts On The House Voting On The Federal Reform
Active supporters are inspired by the latest changes to the bill. However, there are still further components they desire to see changed as it moves through the legislative process. For example, they also found a problem with stipulations added to the MORE Act prior to the 2020 vote. These conditions would have specified that cannabis can still be included in drug testing programs for people employed by the government.
The latest transcription of the MORE Act has 66 cosponsors, this includes seven legislators that signed on this week. Who happen to be all Democrats. Separately, another federal cannabis bill has been filed by a pair of Republican congressmen. Although this piece of legislation does not have anything that promotes social equity.