US House of Representatives Votes in Favor of Decriminalizing Cannabis
2020 has undoubtedly been an insane year, to say the absolute least. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to run rampant across the globe, the masses needed a win of any kind. There is a chance that a win may come in the form of legalizing cannabis on a federal level. That’s right: the United States is closer to the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis than it has been in nearly a century. Today, the United States House of Representatives voted to approve the MORE act, which would put an end to the prohibition of cannabis that has been in effect since the mid-1930s.
Examining the MORE Act (2019-2020)
The MORE Act has been trying to get heard on the house floor for quite some time. Politically referred to as H.R. 3884, the MORE Act was sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and would eventually see bipartisan support of nearly 120 cosponsors. The abridged version of the MORE Act is that it’s passing will decriminalize weed on a federal level. Moreover, the enactment will effectively remove cannabis from the list of scheduled controlled substances. The act will also impose a tax on cannabis at a 5% rate on a federal level. The tax rate is likely to increase to 8% if the MORE Act can pass in the Senate (more on that later.)
How the MORE Act passed in the House
Today, at exactly 1:10 pm, the United States House of Representatives done something it literally had never done before: it passed a bill that would decriminalize cannabis on a federal level. Of the 392 Representatives who voted on the MORE act, 228 voted in favor of the pro-cannabis bill.
Which Dems opposed the MORE Act?
As projected, there was a moderate amount of pushback towards the MORE Act. However, there were a few Democrats who opposed the MORE Act while feigning support. For reference, these Representatives were as follows:
- Cheri Bustos (IL)
- Daniel Lipinski (IL)
- Collin Peterson (MN)
- Chris Pappas (NH)
- Connor Lamb (PA)
- Henry Cuellar (TX)
Any Republicans in favor of the MORE Act?
There was some unexpected support of the MORE Act by a handful of red Reps. These stand-up individuals deserved to be recognized. These Representatives who voted YES on the MORE Act are:
- Matt Gaetz (FL)
- Brian Mast (FL)
- Tom McClintock (CA)
- Denver Riggleman (VA)
- Don Young (AK)
Despite the overwhelming support for the MORE Act, the next steps getting it closer to the law will be a whole lot tougher in the Senate.
Next steps to federally decriminalizing cannabis
Before any bill can become law, it must first be introduced and passed in the House of Representatives. Once passed, it will be sent to be heard in the United States Senate. Political scientists believe that this is where the MORE Act will die. Moreover, they believe the crushing blow to rid lawmakers of the MORE Act will come from the hands of the Senate Majority Leader and Turtle Impersonator Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) A tilt of party control in favor of the Democrats in the Senate may be the only factor that can save the Senate’s MORE Act. We are likely to find out who’s out and who’s in early 2021.
The Clause in the MORE Act no one is talking about
The MORE Act of 2019-20 has a multitude of pro-cannabis laws outside of ridding its schedule classification. According to the abstract of H.R. 3884, the MORE Act would “establishes a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses, and directs the Government Accountability Office to study the societal impact of cannabis legalization.” (Source). Moreover, the MORE Act’s passing would “establishes a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in communities impacted by the war on drugs.” Frankly speaking, this is as close as we will ever get to the United States Government admitting the War on Drugs was a complete failure.
Harry Anslinger has to be rolling over in his grave over all of this.