A small but significant victory for cannabis legalization advocates took place in the U.S. House of Representatives with the passage of a new bill. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act [MORE] was passed last week but it doesn’t appear likely that the bill will go into law in the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate chamber.
The bill was passed with the support of a handful of Republican members of Congress and was largely backed by the Democrats in the chamber although some members of their party voted against the MORE Act. One of the main tenets of the bill would be to, “address the devastating injustices caused by the War on Drugs” and while that position is shared across the aisle in the House, the Senate is another matter altogether.
The MORE Act was passed with 222 Democrats, five Republicans, and Libertarian congressman Justin Amash; Amash’s vote for the bill makes sense as it falls in line with libertarian ideology regarding drug legalization and decriminalization. 158 Republicans and six Democrats voted against the bill in comparison. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who is a Republican, was one of the co-sponsors of the bill. Two congress members from Illinois voted no.
“Millions of Americans’ lives have been upended as a result of convictions for possessing small amounts of marijuana, and the racial disparities in conviction rates for those offenses are as shocking as they are unjust,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer offered via a statement. “That’s why we passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act today.”
With the medical and recreational cannabis industries respectively raking in the dough, the MORE Act’s passage would effectively make the business more attractive to investors considering the potential legality.
For the finer points of the MORE Act, Leafly’s simplified breakdown is among the best we’ve seen on the subject. Check that out here.