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USA: Cannabis legalization rises for the second time in the House of Representatives

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Photo: DR | Herb.co

The Rules Committee of the House of Representatives of the United States of America (USA), held this Wednesday a hearing on the Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Purge Act (the “MORE Act”), which decriminalizes cannabis at the federal level. The measure should go to the plenary today for a vote. More than two-thirds of Americans support repealing the federal cannabis ban.

The cannabis sector is in an uproar and markets are showing signs of optimism regarding the vote to up the Cannabis Opportunity, Reinvestment and Purge Act (MORE Act). The MORE Act, or HR 3617, removes cannabis from the Controlled Substances legal regime, facilitates amnesty for convicts, promotes diversified participation in the regulated cannabis industry, and helps repair the racially and economically disparate harms caused by the disastrous ban on cannabis. prohibitionist policies. The measure has been admitted for a vote in the House of Representatives, but it does not yet appear to be formally scheduled. There are Democrats who believe that this legislation is unlikely to be passed by the Senate.

Second vote for the legalization of cannabis

In 2020, the MORE bill was voted on in the House of Representatives, but it did not pass the Senate. That's why, this time around, the industry is convinced that the outcome of the vote could actually be the tipping point of the cannabis ban. If the act is approved in the House of Representatives, then it will be up to the Senate to carry out the vote that could bring this measure into force.

American companies are confident that this measure will be approved and that it could also be approved by the Senate. If that happens, it will end criminal penalties for those selling cannabis in states where that activity is already legal, and it will decriminalize cannabis use across the US, formally allowing states to enforce their own regulations and set the mold for commercial cannabis sales. .

"Advancing this legislation to declassify cannabis and helping those individuals and communities who have been impacted by America's failed ban is critical," said NORML Political Director Morgan Fox. “More than two-thirds of Americans support repealing the federal cannabis ban and deserve to know where our elected officials stand on this issue.

“On behalf of cannabis users across the country and the people who have been victimized and marginalized as a result of our misguided federal cannabis laws, we thank House Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer, the President of the Judiciary of House, Jerry Nadler, Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Jim Clyburn, Hakeem Jeffries, Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ed Perlmutter, Nydia Velasquez and many others for their strong support for comprehensive cannabis policy reform and their efforts to bring this legislation the vote.”

What does the MORE Act propose?

This bill decriminalizes cannabis and specifically removes it from the list of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, eliminating criminal penalties for the individual who manufactures, distributes or possesses cannabis. The bill also makes other changes, including the following:

  • replaces legal references to “marijuana” and “marihuana” with “cannabis”;
  • requires the Bureau of Labor Statistics to regularly publish demographic data on cannabis business owners and employees;
  • establishes a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in drug war-affected communities;
  • imposes a special tax on cannabis products produced in or imported into the United States and an occupational tax on cannabis production facilities and export warehouses;
  • provides loans and small business administration services to entities that are legitimate cannabis-related businesses or service providers;
  • prohibits the denial of federal public benefits to a person based on certain cannabis-related conduct or beliefs;
  • prohibits denial of benefits and protections under immigration laws based on a cannabis-related event (eg, conduct or conviction)
  • establishes a process for expunging convictions and conducting sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis crimes, directing the Government Accountability Office to study the social impact of cannabis legalization.

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