Congress takes up ’MORE Act’ aimed to decriminalize marijuana

Bill aims to remove cannabis from Controlled Substances Act

The U.S. House is scheduled to vote Friday on the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE Act, which would decriminalize cannabis (marijuana) and make it possible to erase nonviolent federal marijuana convictions.

UPDATE: US House passes bill aimed at decriminalizing cannabis, clearing nonviolent federal convictions

The bill also aims to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.

Related: UN agency removes cannabis from strictest drug category

This comes after more states voted to legalize recreational marijuana this past month.

NBC News reports the MORE Act would also create pathways for ownership opportunities in the emerging industry, allow veterans to obtain medical cannabis recommendations from Veteran Affairs doctors and establish funding sources to reinvest in communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

Friday’s vote would mark the first time a full chamber of Congress has taken up the issue of federally decriminalizing cannabis, NBC reports.

“It is the right thing to do,” said a co-sponsor of the MORE Act, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, to NBC. “For too long, the war on drugs has targeted young people, especially Black people, and rejected the advice of experts.”

In Michigan, recreational marijuana became legal in 2018 after voters approved a proposal in the November election. Medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan since 2008.

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