Politics

House of Representatives passes bill decriminalizing marijuana

PHOTO CREDITS: ILLINOIS TIMES

The House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday that will decriminalize cannabis to combat “injustices” from the War On Drugs, according to The Sun.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) will clear the way to erase nonviolent federal marijuana convictions. The bill passed largely by party lines: 222 Democrats, five Republicans and one independent voted in support while 158 Republicans and six Democrats voted against the measure.

The MORE Act would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act and eliminate criminal penalties for individuals who manufacture, distribute or possess the drug. The bill will also create a process to expunge prior convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings for federal cannabis offenses.The measure would authorize a five percent sales tax on marijuana products to invest in services such as job training, legal aid, and substance abuse treatment for individuals adversely impacted by the war on drugs. Many are doubtful that the bill will pass in the Senate.

“’Millions of Americans’ lives have been upended as a result of convictions for possessing small amounts of marijuana. And the racial disparities in conviction rates for those offenses are as shocking as they are unjust,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), said in a statement after the vote.”That’s why we passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act today.”

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: CONNOR KMIECIK

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