The US House of Representatives re-approves a bill to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level

The United States House of Representatives voted again to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level on Friday, with a slim bipartisan majority voting in favor.

In all, three Republicans joined House Democrats in supporting the Marijuana Opportunity Elimination and Reinvestment Act, which passed the House 220-204.

The House last passed a bill to decriminalize cannabis nationwide in 2020. But it failed to make it through the Senate.

It’s unclear whether this year’s legislation will fare any better.

Among its provisions, the law removes cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, requires federal courts to expunge prior cannabis-related convictions, and authorizes a 5% tax on the sale of marijuana and marijuana products.

A summary of the bill said the funds would be used for programs to provide services to communities negatively impacted by the US drug war, provide loans to small businesses in the cannabis industry owned by “social and economically disadvantaged” and fund the licensing and use of marijuana. between those individuals.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said on the House floor that, if enacted, the legislation “will reverse decades of failed federal policies based on the criminalization of marijuana.”

“Regardless of one’s opinion on the use of cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes, the policy of arrest, prosecution and incarceration at the federal level has been shown to be reckless and unfair,” said Nadler, who introduced the legislation.

While the fate of the legislation remains unclear, 36 US states have already legalized medical cannabis in addition to Washington, DC The nation’s capital, and 19 states have gone a step further and legalized the recreational use of cannabis. the drug for adults.

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