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The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to affectively end marijuana prohibition. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019, or H.R. 3884, passed with a bipartisan vote of 24-10. This is the first bill to make cannabis legal ever to be approved by a congressional committee. What can we expect now that marijuana prohibition may soon be over?
The MORE Act will decriminalize marijuana on a federal level.
Now that the House Judiciary Committee has approved The MORE Act, all that’s needed is for Congress to respect the will of the people and quickly pass the bill through. A recent Pew Research Center survey showed that 67% of adult respondents were in favor of legalization. Over recent years more and more Americans questioned federal marijuana laws. An outcry of support for medical cannabis has caused many citizens to wonder why pot was considered a controlled substance in the first place.
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By decriminalizing marijuana on a federal level, each state will be able to decide how they would like to proceed in the future. The MORE Act, if passed, will impose a 5% tax that will be used to help cover the cost to expunge criminal records and make amends for the harm this prohibition has caused.
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Marijuana is not only illegal on a federal level it is considered a Schedule I drug, meaning that the DEA and the federal government have decided that it has no medicinal use. This classification has caused research of the drug to be nearly impossible and stifled.
As other countries continued to release data showing its therapeutic potential in treating everything from chronic pain, type 2 diabetes, and even debilitating seizure disorders in children, the feds maintained their stance, allowing people to go to prison. U.S. researchers will be able to apply for more studies into the medical uses of cannabis.
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This could mean that in the future new strains of marijuana can be grown to help lower a diabetic patient’s blood sugar with fewer side effects. The life-changing and lifesaving potential of The MORE Act could be a game-changer for people dealing with many chronic conditions.
“This vote brings us one step closer to ending the disaster that is prohibition and repairing the harms it has caused while we continue the discussion in Congress about how to best regulate cannabis at the federal level. We urge lawmakers to move forward with this necessary bill without delay.” Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA).
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