A historic vote on cannabis legalization in Congress has officially been scheduled. On Monday afternoon, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer sent a Dear Colleague email to members that detailed the House floor schedule for September.
During the week of September 21, it reads, “the House will take up Chairman Nadler’s MORE Act to help restore justice to millions by decriminalizing marijuana and expunging records of nonviolent federal cannabis convictions.”
“I’m pleased to bring the MORE Act to the House Floor next month to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. This legislation is an important step to correct the disproportionate impact our criminal justice system has had on communities of color,” Rep. Hoyer told Cannabis Wire.
As Cannabis Wire recently covered, House Majority Whip James Clyburn sent an email to members on August 28 announcing that the full House “will be voting soon” on the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act), but no date had been set. The Act passed out of the House Judiciary Committee in November 2019, the first legalization bill to receive a Congressional markup and vote.
The Act, H.R. 3884, removes cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and allows for the expungement of convictions resulting from past federal cannabis offenses. The Act also directs revenue from a 5% tax on cannabis products toward a fund that would provide support for those disproportionately affected by the drug war. Individual states could still decide to maintain cannabis prohibition.
Should the Act pass in the House, its chances of passage in the Republican-controlled Senate are slim.