In a historic first, the US House of Representatives approved a measure 228 to 164 to end prohibition of cannabis in the United States.
The House voted in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) or H.R. 3884, on December 4 which would decriminalize cannabis and pave the way for people to erase nonviolent federal marijuana convictions. The bill would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and expunge the records of those with prior cannabis convictions.
On December 3, the day before the vote on the MORE Act, the House voted on a procedural resolution, H. Res 1244, to vote on the MORE Act. The House approved the rule in a 225-160 vote. Not a single Republican voted in favor of H. Res 1244.
Representative Earl Blumenauer is co-sponsor of the MORE Act and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, as well as one of the main driving forces behind federal cannabis reform. “It is the right thing to do,” Blumenauer told NBC News. “For too long, the war on drugs has targeted young people, especially Black people, and rejected the advice of experts.”
— Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) December 3, 2020
Blumenauer donned a fan leaf-covered face mask on the House floor and stated, “I’ve been waiting for this moment for 47 years. To preside during this debate is a true honor.”
“For decades, discriminatory cannabis policies have perpetuated yet another form of systemic racism in America, and this legislation will begin the process of restorative justice for those most harmed,” said Representative Barbara Lee, who co-sponsored the bill.
We. Did. It.
The MORE Act has passed the House to #EndCannabisProhibition
50 years in the making. pic.twitter.com/yJ1V7tPiKK
— NORML (@NORML) December 4, 2020
Last year, the Judiciary Committee, headed by bill sponsor Rep. Jerrold Nadler, approved the MORE Act.
The bill now heads to the US Senate, where most people agree that it faces slim chances of approval under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.