The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the decriminalization of marijuana
The lives of millions of Americans have been broken because of convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana, and the racial disparity in the number of convictions for these crimes is as shocking as it is unfair
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the decriminalization of marijuana, but the legislation has little chance of passing the Senate.
MORE ACT’s bill would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and remove penalties for people who manufacture, distribute, or possess it. It also would remove criminal records and review convictions for federal cannabis-related offenses.
Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this week criticized the House for its work on the marijuana bill. He urged Democrats to pass parts of the stimulus bill instead because of the COVID-19 epidemic, on which there is bipartisan agreement.
The marijuana bill
Such a solution would allow cannabis to be used for medical purposes and develop a profitable business, but the vote was not unanimous.
The bill to decriminalize marijuana was supported by 228 congressmen; 164 voted against it. Among those who voted yes were 222 Democrats, five Republicans, and one libertarian congressman. Among those who voted against were 158 Republicans and six Democrats.
If the Senate (controlled by Republicans) and the president approve the bill, once passed, marijuana would become fully legalized in the country. It would then be possible to use it for medical purposes, and thousands of convicts serving time for possession and distribution of cannabis would go free.
Under the current government, the passage of the bill, given the Republican majority in the Senate, is problematic. However, Joe Biden did not rule out such a possibility while addressing voters on the eve of the presidential election.
Currently, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal in many countries in Europe and 38 states in the United States. Some countries (Austria, Portugal) allow the cultivation of small amounts of cannabis for their own needs, and the use of cannabis in specialized cafes are allowed. The UN Commission on Drugs has removed marijuana (and cannabis resins) from the list of the most dangerous drugs.
Critics of the bill point to the lack of potential support for marijuana decriminalization in the Senate.
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