Politics

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana, will now move to Senate

The US Lower House passed Friday the ‘More Act’, a bill which decriminalizes marijuana at the federal level by removing it from the list of banned controlled substances, although it will still have to pass through the senate.

The House bill passed by a vote of 220 to 204, with three Republicans in favor and two Democrats against.

Republicans said they voted no because the legislation lacked additional funding for local police forces. Some opposed it on the grounds that they hold negative views towards drugs.

Some Republicans also argued that marijuana “is a gateway drug that would lead to increased use of opioids and other dangerous substances.” In addition, they have argued that marijuana sold today “is much more potent than what was sold decades ago,” something that would generate “greater deterioration for those who consume it,” according to the Fox network.

Democrats argued that the outlawing of marijuana has had “particularly devastating consequences for minority communities,” who are “four times more likely” than white Americans to be arrested for possession of marijuana, even though they consume it at similar rates, he explained Friday in Congress the majority leader of the House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer.

“Such criminal records can persecute people of color and impact the trajectory of their lives indefinitely,” Hoyer said at the US Lower House session, as reported by ‘USA Today.’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the legislation during her weekly news conference Thursday, telling reporters the legislation is “consistent with what is happening in many states across the country.”

“It also addresses the injustices of it because of what penalties had been before some of these, this decriminalization took place,” she added. “So, I’m all for it.”

In the United States, cannabis is legal for adult use in 19 states, and for medical use in 36 states. If this bill were to go ahead in the Senate, it would end the federal ban, but it would leave legalization to the states, according to Forbes magazine. 

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: COMMONDREAMS.ORG

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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