Talk about legalizing marijuana again lit up the national stage this week, when it became a topic in the Democratic presidential debate ("Are you high?" Corey Booker asked Joe Biden), on the same day that a U.S. House of Representatives committee approved a landmark bill that would end federal marijuana prohibition.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019, better known as the MORE Act, would end federal marijuana prohibition while allowing states to regulate the plant as they see fit, as well as set up funding and programs that allow expungement for cannabis offenders and social equity within any potential federally legal pot industry. Introduced by New York Representative Jerry Nadler, the MORE Act passed 24-10 out of the House Judiciary Committee on November 20, setting up a future vote on the House floor...after it makes it through another committee.
The MORE Act still has a long way to go before it actually becomes law, but at least Congress has made a start, says Richard:
Well, they have done something worth useful in three years.
Who doesn’t know this is going to happen? There is just waaaaay too much money for the government to rob from users!! Hell, the booze you buy is mostly taxes! It’s gonna be the same for weed! There’s just no end to people’s willingness to be butt-fucked by their government!
Some readers brought the topic back home. Comments Jay:
Good, let's see if people stop moving here and the rent goes down.
Colorado has all the best things to do while high. Don't count on it.
You're totally right, but I sure would love to smoke some weed and sail up the Mississippi River!
Or could you imagine being able to see the Northern Lights or head to Yosemite National Park while high! I think that there's a lot of really great places to get stoned outside of Colorado.
Let's just let everybody else see how beautiful the rest of America can be while high.
God bless America.
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Colorado Representative Joe Neguse, who's a member of the judiciary committee, was quick to tout the proposal.
“Since the legalization of cannabis in Colorado, our state has developed a robust industry, generating over $927 million in state and local tax fees and over $6 billion in total sales. Even still, there remain barriers at the federal level that hinder the ability of the cannabis industry to function under federal law," he said in a statement. “I applaud the work of Chairman Nadler to end the prohibition of cannabis at the federal level through this legislation and to correct long-felt injustices for cannabis-related offenses in the criminal justice system. In Colorado, this legislation will allow a unique opportunity for researchers to study the health impacts of cannabis and promote public policies that allow for continued growth and opportunity in this industry.”
Although Congress has been slow to address the issue of cannabis, it's made some progress this fall. Colorado Representative Ed Perlmutter's Safe Banking Act, a measure that would allow banks and financial institutions to serve state-legal marijuana companies, passed the House in September. But that proposal now has to make it through the Senate, at the same time the full House considers the MORE Act.
What do you think of Congress's moves on legalization? The Democratic candidates' positions? Post a comment or email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.