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The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would make marijuana legal in the United States.
H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, passed by a vote of 24-10 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration. A companion bill has already been introduced in the Senate, the committee reported on its website.
Touted as “one of the most comprehensive marijuana reforms bills ever introduced in the U.S.” the bill will reschedule marijuana, which the Food and Drug Administration currently considers a Schedule I drug alongside cocaine and heroin, and impose a federal 5% tax on marijuana to help pay for such grants that would cover work training and education for individuals with criminal records related to marijuana.
Known as the MORE Act, the bill “aims to correct the historical injustices of failed drug policies that have disproportionately impacted communities of color and low-income communities by decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level, reassessing marijuana convictions, and investing in local communities,” the committee said in a statement.
To date, nine states and the District of Columbia permit the use and sale of recreational marijuana.
The “green wave” of marijuana legalization at the state level across the United States has triggered considerable buzz. A slew of state legislators and private citizens alike are eager to see marijuana products more readily available nationwide. Widely covered reports of Canada’s 2018 legalization of recreational marijuana have only elevated the conversation.