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Tags: marijuana | decriminalize | house | democrats | drugs

House Expected to Pass Bill Friday to Legalize Marijuana

(C-SPAN)

By    |   Thursday, 31 March 2022 08:49 PM EDT

The House is closing in on passing landmark legislation to legalize marijuana nationwide and significant support in both chambers of Congress gives the longtime effort a chance to become law.

House Democrats passed legislation to decriminalize marijuana in December 2020, but the Republican-led Senate spiked the effort.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., considers marijuana legalization a top priority, but the passage of the bill in the upper chamber remains an uncertain hurdle, The Hill reported.

Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act works to release those imprisoned for marijuana-related drug offenses, while Americans overwhelmingly support legalization of marijuana, including 91% for medicinal use, according to a Pew Research Center poll last year.

"This landmark legislation is one of the most important criminal justice reform bills in recent history: delivering justice for those harmed by the brutal, unfair consequences of criminalization; opening the doors of opportunity for all to participate in this rapidly growing industry; and decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level so we do not repeat the grave mistakes of our past," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on the House floor Thursday.

There are some Senate Democrats skeptical of legalizing drugs amid additional issues in their states, including Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., according to The Hill.

Republicans have long been skeptics of legalization.

"We can all sit here and pretend that marijuana is a harmless drug, but it is not," Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., told The Hill. "It clouds your judgment and inhibits your reaction time."

There are some Republicans on board with legalization, including Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., who has her own bill with GOP co-sponsors: Reps. Brian Mast, R-Fla.; Tom McClintock, R-Calif.; and Peter Meijer, R-Mich.

Mace's bill taxes marijuana at 3%, while the Democrats' bill taxes it initially at 5% and gradually increases to 8%, according to The Hill.

There are 37 states that already permit cannabis for medicinal use, while at least 18 states, two territories and Washington, D.C., permit recreational pot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

"Americans have made their support for cannabis legalization abundantly clear, and states across the country have taken the lead on cannabis legalization," Marijuana Policy Project CEO Toi Hutchinson told The Hill.

Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chair Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., thinks a bill decriminalizing pot can reach the 60-vote threshold in the Senate.

"We have, I think, probably in the low 60s in the Senate," he told The Hill.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
The House is closing in on passing landmark legislation to legalize marijuana nationwide and significant support in both chambers of Congress gives the longtime effort a chance to become law. House Democrats passed legislation to decriminalize marijuana in December 2020, but ...
marijuana, decriminalize, house, democrats, drugs
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2022-49-31
Thursday, 31 March 2022 08:49 PM
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