For the First Time Ever, Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Congressional Committee

Vote To Federally Legalize Marijuana Planned In Congress Next Week

For the First Time Ever, Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Congressional Committee

Photo: Ed Andrieski (AP)

 

A bill to remove marijuana from federal controlled substances lists, expunge federal convictions and arrests, and allocate resources to communities that have suffered under the U.S. government’s war on drugs passed 24-10 in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, ABC News reported.

Passing a bill through committee is just one step on the road towards a piece of legislation becoming law. Rolling Stone reported that it must pass through several other House committees, and the Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to move on it. But the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 (MORE Act) is the first marijuana-legalization bill to ever pass committee stage in the federal legislature. In addition to the aforementioned provisions, the MORE Act would also create a Cannabis Justice Office and levy a five percent tax on the sale of marijuana in states which have already legalized the drug. The bill would still leave it up to individual states as to whether to remove their own penalties against marijuana—federal authorities have already loosened enforcement in those states.

Polls have shown overwhelming public support for ditching weed prohibition. Gallup recently released a report finding that support for legalization held steady at 66 percent in 2018 and 2019. Meanwhile, the supposed scientific case for marijuana criminalization, which largely relies on the argument that weed is a “gateway drug” that leads users down the path to riskier drugs like meth or heroin, is falling apart even as weed convictions have helped explode U.S. prison populations. Marijuana is currently listed as Schedule I by the U.S. government, which has also restricted scientific research into its effects.

“States have led the way—and continue to lead the way—but our federal laws have not kept pace with the obvious need for change,” Nadler said in a statement. “We need to catch up because of public support and because it is the right thing to do.”

One Republican on the committee was more circumspect.

“I don’t think a majority of the Republicans will support this bill,” GOP Representative Ken Buck, a member of the Judiciary Committee, told CNBC. “It is even less likely that the Senate would take it up. Therefore, I would just suggest that we deal with other bills that we can get a much larger bipartisan support from.”

Virtually all of the leading Democratic candidates for president support marijuana legalization, with former Vice President Joe Biden mocked on the debate stage Wednesday night for expressing his support of the gateway drug theory and running on a platform that would keep marijuana as a Schedule II drug. With Pew Research Center polling about 78 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents saying marijuana should be legal, and another recent poll by Data for Progress and Civis Analytics finding even a majority of Trump supporters are in favor, Biden seems to have staked out an extremely unpopular position at a very bad time […]

 

via For the First Time Ever, Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Congressional Committee

2 thoughts on “For the First Time Ever, Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Congressional Committee

  1. Getting everybody stoned is a most efficient manner of bringing on world government. Add it to ‘climate change’ and you have a good recipe. Climate change propaganda will terrorize the people and marijuana will calm the fears. The government doesn’t even want to explore scientific research into the ill effect of mary jane? God help us!

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Mary Anne. It wasn’t until I moved to New Zealand 17 years ago that I realized how far behind the US is in scientific research compared to other countries. There has been lots of research overseas into the the long term effects of marijuana – especially for medical use. Ironically much of this research is funded by US foundations since growing cannabis, even for medical purposes is illegal in the US.

    A 2016 Australian documentary called A Life of Its Own documents some of this research:
    https://stuartbramhall.wordpress.com/2017/05/06/the-history-of-medical-marijuana-research/

    As for recreational use, Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001. Based on the extremely positive results (drug deaths fell by 80%) the British Medical Journal has called for the decriminalization of all illicit drugs. It turns out it’s far easier to control drug misuse if drug distribution is legal and regulated than if you allow the black market (ie criminals and gangsters) to run it as we do now.

    https://stuartbramhall.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/for-the-first-time-in-history-british-medical-journal-calls-for-the-legalization-of-all-drugs-peoples-trust-toronto/

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