By a vote of 228-164, the House of Representatives has passed a measure to decriminalize marijuana and move forward on erasing nonviolent federal marijuana convictions. Democrats consider it a step to decreasing the racial disparities in the justice system. The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), now heads to the Senate.
BREAKING: US House votes 228-164 to pass historic bill that would decriminalize cannabis and clear the way to erase nonviolent federal marijuana convictions; bill moves to US Senate. pic.twitter.com/ZcRgdSN9ez— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 4, 2020
I'm so proud that the MORE Act passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 228 to 164. I introduced this bill to provide restorative justice, modernize America's cannabis laws, and deliver meaningful investments to America's communities & small businesses.— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) December 4, 2020
Now, let's make it law. pic.twitter.com/sByrmUF5ZQ
The bill, as reported by the New York Times, would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and authorize a 5 percent tax on marijuana that would fund community and small business grant programs to help those most impacted by the criminalization of marijuana.
The Times adds that the vote is historic, this being the first time a chamber of Congress has approved the decriminalization of marijuana. But they note the measure is "all but doomed" in the Senate.
Republicans fumed this week that Democrats were prioritizing this bill over COVID relief for Americans hardest hit by the pandemic. But thanks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's big mouth, we now know why.